CHURCH CORNER: Easter season is time to celebrate

By Dale Pratt

Cedar Community Church

It’s Easter season and I have a couple of words on my mind – opportunity, possibility. (Most folks are surprised when I say I have a couple of words on my mind. “Only a couple? Wow! He’s sick!” A couple thousand would be more like it, and that’s just getting me warmed up.)

Opportunity – chance, prospect, opening. Occasion – incident, juncture, circumstance, event, instance. Possibility – option, likelihood, risk. (I love my thesaurus.)

I hear a lot of words and I attempt to translate them into cohesive thought patterns, so I can comprehend and process the thoughts. I’m not doing well with much of what I hear these days. I’m not doing well digesting the news on any front. It’s wearing out my brain.

What I think I’m seeing – hearing in all these words – is a lot of missed opportunity; chances that were taken that didn’t work out well; prospects and openings that presented opportunities that, when taken advantage of, someone got taken advantage of. Occasions that presented the juncture in time when an incident could work into an event and someone was hurt rather than healed. Possibilities that in all likelihood could present both risk and an option for good, but when the score is tallied, someone loses big time and the score is counted in lives that are destroyed rather than rebuilt. Hmmmmmmm.

The discussion I hear over coffee or lunch is that this “thing” is so out of control and we’re headed for a crash and if God’s not in control we don’t have any hope. I also hear a lot of talk about how we’ve been here before in one form or another and the chance is that we’ll be offered another opportunity to get it right, again.

When I look back over history, it seems that our little dirt ball – we call it Earth – has been in rather difficult situations before, as far back as any recorded history takes us. And, our Christian faith – as recorded in the Bible – seems to clearly show me how desperate a mess we can make when we only tap into the opportunities and options and possibilities on our own thought processes and leave out the possibility of divine influence over our lives, as we pick up on the options of the opportunities and act on the possibilities in our own understanding, without divine input. I know, there’s plenty of redundancy here; sounds a lot like how we live – redundant, in our little human rut!

So, what am I saying? Am I on a downer? No! Where am I going? It’s Easter! No, I’m not discouraged and I’m not a pessimist. I’m a realist and the reality is that stuff is happening in our world that feels almost otherworldly. And, then, I think about the higher power – I simply call Him God – and if he’s anything like I think he is, we can’t get this dirt ball so far off course that we mess up what he’s intent on eventually, eternally doing.

To my point: Once upon a time, somewhat near 2000 years ago, a baby boy was born in Bethlehem, who, according to Christian tradition, was the Promised One of God. He grew into a man, fulfilled his role as the One, proclaimed his deity – claimed to be the Son of God, claimed to be the Promised One, healed folks, performed preposterous miracles, refused to defend his claim to be king of the Jews, was crucified, buried, and popped out of the tomb early Sunday morning – much to the utter surprise and chagrin (cool word) of folks back then. And, I’d say, much to the chagrin of more than just a few folks today.

I’m not one of those folks. I’m one who shamelessly acknowledges the miraculous intervention in time, on that first Easter morning, as God the father called Jesus his son from the tomb, and re-lifed him with the spirit of God – which spirit was his life form before the crucifixion – and my life will never be the same for that event on that first Easter morning.

Talk about an opportunity. Talk about a possibility. God takes the chance to inject himself into humanity, in the form of Jesus the Christ, on the off chance that, upon hearing the story, I might just respond in faith to it, and allow the power of that story to change me into the possibility he sees for me. I heard the story. I said “yes.” (Good answer, by the way.) Open offer for you, too. Just say “yes.” Let’s celebrate! He’s alive! It’s a happy Easter!

Pastor Dale Pratt can be reached at dale@cedarcommunitychurch.org.

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