Silent but not innocent
Published 11:17 am Friday, April 26, 2019
As I stepped behind the pulpit on Easter Sunday to lead the congregation in prayer for special needs I heard a familiar voice from the back row cutting clearly through the silence: “Papa! Papa!” Our youngest grandchild is excelling in so many new things it is almost unbelievable.
Later that same day we had our family at our house for an egg hunt and supper. Raegan kept us entertained as she ran around the house checking nearly everything she could get her hands on. But we all know that when a kid with that much energy and volume gets completely quiet and is no longer seen running around she is either asleep or up to something. She was not asleep!
After a few minutes of non-activity—or at least, no activity detected—her mother decided to check out the situation. She found that quite a bit of activity was in progress. She observed the eighteen month old fireball sitting on the floor by the front door raiding plastic Easter eggs; Raegan had managed to open one or more of them and discovered that there was sweet treats inside. When Jessica approached her she found that her little one had melted chocolate oozing down her body. That child might have been quiet, but she was certainly not innocent!
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Needless to say, it was a great day that I will always remember. But there was also sadness on a day that is meant for rejoicing. It was heart breaking to hear the news of the bombings in Sri Lanka where hundreds died and many others were injured, many of whom were gathered in churches to celebrate the most sacred of Christian events. Of all days of the year, it seems that the day that commemorates the resurrection of Christ after His cruel death on the cross should be free from death and devastation. Unfortunately, as we too well know, that is not the case. Sin and suffering will not be eliminated until the end when Christ returns to earth and the forces of Satan are forever done away with. Then God’s faithful people–many of whom will have suffered greatly in this life—will experience the reality of what is stated in Revelation 21: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (verse 4, New International Version).
Heaven will be greater than anything that our finite human minds can imagine or comprehend. The absence of the four things that John mentioned in Revelation 21—death, mourning, crying, pain—would be enough to cause us to want to go to Heaven, but there will be more. The greatest of which will be the joy of being in the presence of God for all eternity. That is why Christ came to earth to suffer, die, and rise from the dead so that we can believe on Him, have our sins forgiven, and experience the joy and peace of having Him living in our hearts and belonging to Him as one of His children.
For many of us, Easter was a great day filled with joyful memories to be cherished for a lifetime, yet for others it became a day of devastation. That does not mean that God loves some and not others; He loves us all, that is His very nature. But we can take heart with the truth that whether we are experiencing good or bad, and whether we understand our circumstances or not, He remains in control and He can be trusted no matter what. His resurrection provides hope for all who will turn to Him by faith and allow Him to have absolute control of their lives.