Sunday, March 27, 2005

The Message of Christ


The Resurrection of Jesus is for most Christians the defining moment in the Christian faith.

Without the Resurrection, Jesus would have been just a hapless victim of tyranny. His message of love, forgiveness and hope would have been dumped along with his body. His words would have been long forgotten along with his name.

But that is not what happened. Three days after his Crucifixion, followers of Jesus began to announce that he was alive. And while cynics and skeptics have long questioned what actually happened on that first Easter, it's hard to question the results of the belief in what happened. In the centuries since that first announcement, followers of Jesus have multiplied exponentially.

Today, Christianity is a world religion. Followers of Christ can be found in almost every corner of the earth. Where there are not followers of Christ, there are likely Christian missionaries trying to persuade folks to become followers of Christ. [source]

I find it tragically poignant that as we celebrate the death and Resurrection of Jesus so many seem to have forgotten what his message was.

Jesus promised we would inherit the kingdom of God if we feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, comfort the sick and visit those in prison (Matthew 25:31-46). Jesus reminded each of us to care for all people. He asks that we see the stranger in a new light, not as separate, different or unknown but as connected to us.

When we live as Jesus asked, we heighten our sensitivity to people who are suffering. We, are called upon to be generous with our compassion, our time, our talent and our money.
The word Christian means Christ like. Yet so few of those who would stand before us and preach embody the simple love and compassion that Christ demonstrated. Instead they set themselves up as judges of men. Telling others "unless you do as I say (not as I do) you cannot be a Christian". This was not Christ's message.

"Whatever you have done for the least of my brethren you have done it to me" (Matthew 26:40).

The happiest people in the world are those who learn this lesson early in life.

Through Christ's death, resurrection and promises, Easter is a reminder of what can be ours.


May you and your family have a blessed Easter.

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