Awakening - Easter Sunday
Sermon shared by Steven Simala Grant
Summary: Jesus rose triumphant over the grave so that we could live fully awake and in response, He asks us to awaken to Him, His Kingdom, His power, His purpose, His will.
Audience: Believer adults
I think we have a tendency to look at our spiritual lives like this: consisting of moments of feeling closeness or experiencing God in profound ways, and in-between a bunch of mundane, sleepy, normal periods of time where nothing much goes on. That type of viewpoint makes it seem like most of our lives are spent mostly asleep except for a few moments of wakefulness and attentiveness to God, after which we return to our slumber, dreaming of another brief moment of wakeful attentiveness to the voice of God. Or maybe that isn’t how we look at our spiritual lives, maybe it is just how we live them.
But I’m very convinced that God does not want us to sleep-walk our way through life on earth, hanging in until the end when finally we will see face to face. I actually believe Jesus wants to meet us face to face today, and tomorrow, and the day after that. Day in and day out, moment by moment, morning by morning. Meeting Jesus is not an instant quick-fix, suddenly filling us with power and on we go, defeating the powers of evil and rescuing the galaxy. The mountain-top moments don’t fix everything wrong with our lives. Living the Christian life is not all about problems disappearing, troubles ending, struggles vanishing in a poof; rather it is walking day by day, moment by moment, in the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit filling us so that we walk through problems, we overcome troubles, we continue to struggle and struggle until God’s Kingdom comes. It is about being awake to all of life, not sleep-walking through it. Not just being awake for a few moments and then drifting back off to sleep. Not about seeing and meeting Jesus once or twice or maybe three times in our life; it is about walking day by day. It is about deep personal friendship and intimacy, not a mere acquaintance you’ve met a couple times and definitely not someone you heard about from someone else. What kind of relationship can you have with someone at that kind of distance?
And for some of you, that is a pretty accurate description of your relationship with Jesus right now. Distant. Maybe more of an acquaintance than an intimate friend. Or maybe Jesus is still just someone you have heard about from others, and you haven’t yet started your own friendship with Him. Maybe you have been closer in the past, but you’ve drifted. Oh, yes there are reasons, even good reasons, but if we take a half-step back, none of those reasons matter at all. What matters is the state of the relationship. Are you close? Intimate?? Do you spend time with Jesus every day, do you talk and listen, do you obey, are you seeking Him with all your heart or is your heart divided? More in love with lesser things?
Today, Easter Sunday, we stand at the empty tomb. We gaze in wonder. We are flabbergasted, speechless, in awe. We see that death is defeated, love is triumphant, Jesus is risen. And it seems like in a flash, a moment, everything is different, everything made new, everything transformed and fixed. But this is not the case. Even in reading the Biblical accounts, which are brief in all four gospels, we see
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