“Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing.’ They said to him, ‘We will go with you.’” John 21:3
A very absent-minded professor’s wife came to him and said, “Lloyd, dear, we’re moving today. When you come home this afternoon remember to go to the new address two blocks down.” The professor nodded in agreement and went to work. At the end of the day he went home, but sure enough, he went to his former address. He saw the empty house, and that stirred something of a distant memory, but he couldn’t quite recall it. A little boy was in the front yard, and the professor approached him and said, “Excuse me, but where is the family that used to live here?” The little boy sighed, shook his head and said, “Mom said you’d forget.”
I wonder if forgetting was Peter’s main problem on that day he decided to go fishing. If you read all of John 21 you get the impression that the purpose of this resurrection appearance was specifically to help Peter move on in life. He had seen Jesus alive, but lived as if He weren’t.
I’m writing this on Easter afternoon. The service this morning was wonderful. The early service around the cross was inspiring, the music in the regular service was thrilling, even the preaching was passable. Easter Sunday is a time when we remember the greatest of truths. The resurrection proves that God solved our sin problem, our death problem, and our fear problem.
Now you are likely reading this on Monday morning. Has the thrill worn off? Or do you remember and rejoice as you move into a new week? Easter is the high-point of the Christian year, but the Monday after Easter may be the most important day. Monday is when faith is put to the test. Monday is when convictions must be transformed into experience. On the Monday after Easter you will either forget or remember the resurrection.
You can remember the resurrection is you pause, even briefly, and thank Jesus for His presence in your life. He said He would be with you always. Think about what that implies. The Creator of the Universe, the King Himself promised to be with you always. Find a good devotional book, read the daily meditations, and say a prayer. That will remind you that you are not alone. You will remember.
You can remember the resurrection if, when you are troubled during this day, you pause and simply tell God that you are afraid, or angry, or resentful, or doubtful, or whatever darkens your mind and your soul. These brief prayers invite God into your thinking. Usually we neglect our faith when we’re agitated. That is the very time you need to remember.
You can remember the resurrection by rejoicing in the countless moments when God reveals His grace. From the moment you finish reading GraceWaves start to look for grace moments. Do you see them in the children you are getting ready for school? Don’t focus only on the aggravation they bring. Remember what a miracle they are. What about your pets? I’m writing autobiographically here. My dogs are sources of unconditional love. I saw them, played with them, and took care of them the previous night yet every morning they greet me like a long lost friend. I think God rejoices to see Schnauzer-joy. I can too, and thereby remember the resurrection. How about your spouse? Coworkers? Clerks? It takes some focus and intention, but you will be surprised by the grace moments surrounding you as you move through the day.
Christianity is a religion of life, abundant and eternal. Life itself is both the proof and the testing ground of faith. We have once again trumpeted the call that Jesus is alive, yet, if we forget, we live as if He weren’t. Remember today and every day that Jesus is alive and walks with you. Now enjoy this day and the rest of your week.
Dr. Terry Ellis
April 20, 2014