Sometimes the news of the world can take the hope of Easter
right out of you. Sometimes it's hard to believe in the resurrection.
And yet, this is how it happens: a woman, 38 years old, is
diagnosed with breast cancer and has to have a total mastectomy. Two years
later the cancer comes back, and her doctor schedules her for another
CEO Dan Cathy of the
Chick-fil-A company has a new
service model: the Sermon on the Mount. "Here's the deal," Cathy
announced recently at the second annual Imagination Summit in California. "All
of us were created in God's image."
Leading a church that isn’t a “church,” doesn’t meet regularly, and
has a loose version of itself is all rather tricky. It’s also a lot of
fun. I’m four weeks into my position at Mission Developer with The Project F-M,
and I’m discovering new joys and challenges each day.
When mission organizations send out promotional
materials, they don't usually include missionary ruminations like Heather Hendrick's. She exposes her faith, doubt, frustration and hope with equal courage.
This week is the Second Sunday of Easter, aka "low Sunday." There
is in the life of a church a movement and momentum toward Easter Sunday, and
then inevitably a scattering, a rest after the intensity. And yet the gospel
lesson does wrestle with the implications of belief, unbelief and doubt.
Easter brings with it an abundance of natural joy and reason for
celebration. The love of God poured out for us through the Incarnation,
the life, the death and now the resurrection, which today we
commemorate, of Jesus of Nazareth is made known in the most powerful
"They have taken my Lord away," says a tearful Mary Magdalene, "and I do not know where they have laid him." Mary utters some version of this lament
three times in the Easter Sunday reading from John. D. Moody Smith calls it "an answer of unparalleled poignancy."