Ross Holtz writes from The Summit.
I bought a watch for my wife last Christmas, or maybe the one before that, I dunno. Anyway, it quit working so I took it in to have the battery changed. I laid it on the counter and said, “it needs a new battery.”
The lady on the other side of the counter looked at me like I was an idiot. She said, “it doesn’t have a battery, it is solar powered. It uses the sun’s energy.”
I said, “Who, in the name of all that is holy, would buy that kind of a watch in Western Washington?”
She said, “Well, you obviously.” No wonder she looked at me like I was an idiot. “You need to put this in the sun so it has power to run.”
Well, I was taught to make the best of bad situations. It needed sun, ha, so I booked a flight to Miami for two. Problem solved. What a cool watch!
Needing to be in the light, needing an outside source of energy to function, we are like this watch. Our body, the temporal part of us, needs the sunshine to sustain life. But we are more than our physical body. We have an inner being that thinks, grieves, hopes and dreams; we call it our soul. It, too, needs light to sustain it. There has been much said about the “darkness of the soul” or “the dark night of the soul,” and anyone who has ever suffered from depression or discouragement knows the reality of it. Just as we, who live in Western Washington, crave the sunshine, so our souls long for something to illuminate and enlighten us.
Can I ask? Have you ever had this darkness of soul? Have you ever lost hope or been so discouraged that you were paralyzed, unable to even dream of something better?
I have good news. No, it isn’t a ticket to Miami. I know where there is sunshine for your soul. Jesus, whose resurrection from the dead we are about to celebrate, said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”*
The light of life. He is addressing our soul need. He offers us hope, hope in this life and the next.
“The next life?” you ask, “you believe there is a next life?” Oh, I do. I agree with Abraham Lincoln who said: “Surely God would not have created such a being as man, with an ability to grasp the infinite, to exist only for a day! No, no, man was made for immortality.” And that is, as we are told, the greatest cause of soul darkness, the fear of death; to cease to exist. Some guy named Shane Smith spoke truth when he said, “After money, all you want is immortality.” James Dean, the movie guy from the ’50s, who was not known for his high intellect, said, “Immortality is the only true success.” Hmmm, maybe he was smarter than we thought.
Immortality, everyone wants that. Waldo Emerson, who didn’t even believe it existed, wanted it to be true. He wrote: “…the immortality of the soul, is too good to be believed.” But Jesus, who came back from being dead, said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies…” ** He said it exists and told us how to achieve it.
The churches on the Plateau are all about to celebrate Resurrection Sunday, also known as Easter. We all will be teaching about this man Jesus who was crucified and buried but came back to life. In doing that he proved that he was the Son of God and could truly offer to us “the light of life.” Why don’t you do yourself a favor and attend one of these churches this Easter and find out for yourself what Jesus offers to each of us. Check it out, what harm can it do? And who are you gonna believe anyway: Emerson, who is still dead, or Jesus, who isn’t?
See you in church.