04.02.06

Jesus is Alive

Posted in From Al & Libbie, Reflections, Updates at 9:32 pm by Al

Brief update: I am just now taking the pills for my fourth evening of chemo therapy. Tomorrow evening is the final evening. No significant nausea! We are most thankful. I have been more fatigued this time around, however, and felt more general malaise. And, if this course follows the patter of the previous course, I will experience fever and flu-like symptoms and constipation for the next week or so. BUT, this is hardly the end of the world!

For a couple of days I have been trying to write a note about Jesus, and what he means to me. It has developed into a more lengthy account of my conversion to Christ, which I will save for another day. What really got me started was thinking about one thing, the thing that so captured my attention when I was first confronted with the good news about Jesus: Jesus is alive; He didn’t stay dead; He really was raised from the dead. Not just a metaphorical rising from the dead, but the real thing. A person with a real body brought back to life after being dead for three days. He lives. Plain and simple. This has been the focus of hope for me. It was the focus when I first believed; it has been the focus through the years; and it continues to be the attention grabber, especially now. He has “shared” his resurrection with me and with all who believe. He died that he might give us his life. We are raised to life with him. Incredible.

The church meets on Sunday, the first day of the week, to remember that it was the first day of the week on which Jesus rose from the dead. In that sense, we celebrate Easter each week. In fact, rarely have I been praying on a Sunday that God hasn’t brought to mind this one gloriously, incredible event and led me to thankfulness: Jesus was raised on the first day of the week and he still lives today.

Rejoice and be thankful. The cross and the resurrection are our great hope.

Blessings, Al

5 Comments »

  1. Paul said,

    April 2, 2006 at 11:00 pm

    The catechetical sermon of John Chrysostom, archbishop of Constantinople, on the Holy and Light-bearing Day of the Holy and Saving Resurrection of Christ our God.

    If any be pious and a lover of God, let him partake of this good and radiant festival.
    If any be a wise servant, let him rejoicing enter into the joy of his Lord.
    If any have wearied himself in fasting, let him now partake of his recompense.
    If any have wrought from the first hour, let him receive today his rightful due.
    If any have come after the third hour, let him feast with thanksgiving.
    If any have arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings, for he shall in no wise suffer loss.
    If any have delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near, not wavering.
    If any have arrived only at the eleventh hour, let him not fear for his tardiness.
    For the Master, who loveth his honor, accepteth the last even as the first.
    He giveth rest to the one who came at the eleventh hour, as to the one who wrought from the first.
    And He hath mercy on the one that delayeth, and he careth for the first.
    To the one He giveth, and on the other He bestoweth gifts.
    He both accepteth the works, and welcometh the intention;
    He honoreth the acts, and praiseth the purpose.
    Enter ye all, therefore, into the joy of our Lord.
    Ye first and ye second, partake of the reward.
    Ye rich and ye poor, dance your joy together.
    Ye that abstain and ye slothful, honor the day.
    Ye that have fasted, and ye that have not fasted, be glad today.
    The table is laden; do ye all fare sumptuously.
    The calf is fatted; let none go away hungered.
    Partake ye all of the banquet of faith.
    Partake ye all of the riches of loving-kindness.
    Let none lament his neediness, for the common kingdom hath been revealed.
    Let none grieve for his offenses, for pardon hath shone forth from the grave.
    Let none fear death, for the Savior’s death hath set us free.
    He that was held by it hath quenched it.
    He that descended into Hell hath despoiled Hell.
    He embittered it, which had tasted of His flesh, and Isaiah, anticipating this saith, Hell was embittered, when it met thee below.
    It was embittered, for it was overthrown.
    It was embittered, for it was deceived.
    It was embittered, for it was slain.
    It was embittered, for it was cast down.
    It was embittered, for it was fettered.
    It took a body and encountered God.
    It took earth and met heaven.
    It took what it saw and fell upon what it saw not.
    Where is thy sting, O Death?
    O Hell, where is thy victory?
    Christ is risen, and thou art overthrown.
    Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen.
    Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice.
    Christ is risen, and life prevaileth, and there is none dead in the tomb.
    For Christ in arising from the dead is become the first-fruits of those that have fallen asleep.
    To Him be glory and might unto ages of ages. Amen.

  2. Mark A. Stone said,

    April 3, 2006 at 7:39 am

    Good morning.

    I have been checking in regularly to understand how you are doing. Thank you for taking the time to provide reflections. It is great to know what “you are thinking about.” There is so much for those of us who do not have cancer to learn from those who do. Your reflections remind us over and over again of what is truly important and worth reflecting on. Please pass along my appreciation for Libbie’s comments. Beyond the humor, they provide us (the readers) with a fresh perspective from one who is jointly bearing the burden of your care. You remain in my prayers.

  3. Fred Putnam said,

    April 6, 2006 at 10:45 am

    Thanks, Al.

    A number of years ago I discovered “Seven Words at Easter”, a poem written by John Updike when he was fairly young (college?); very strongly anti-Tillich. I don’t have an e-copy of it, but t’s all over the internet, and *well* worth reading.

    You all are in my thoughts and prayers often.

    All blessings in Christ.

  4. Paul said,

    April 8, 2006 at 9:15 pm

    “Seven Stanzas at Easter”
    John Updike

    Make no mistake: if He rose at all
    it was as His body;
    if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse, the molecules
    reknit, the amino acids rekindle,
    the Church will fall.

    It was not as the flowers,
    each soft Spring recurrent;
    it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled
    eyes of the eleven apostles;
    it was as His Flesh: ours.

    The same hinged thumbs and toes,
    the same valved heart
    that — pierced — died, withered, paused, and then
    regathered out of enduring Might
    new strength to enclose.

    Let us not mock God with metaphor,
    analogy, sidestepping transcendence;
    making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the
    faded credulity of earlier ages:
    let us walk through the door.

    The stone is rolled back, not papier-mache,
    not a stone in a story,
    but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow
    grinding of time will eclipse for each of us
    the wide light of day.

    And if we will have an angel at the tomb,
    make it a real angel,
    weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair,
    opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen
    spun on a definite loom.

    Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
    for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
    lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are
    embarrassed by the miracle,
    and crushed by remonstrance.

  5. Denise Brokenborough said,

    January 26, 2007 at 12:09 am

    Hi Al and Libby,

    What a wonderful website! And what a great way to communicate. Know that I am praying for you, two. You both have greatly influenced my life, especially as a fairly new believer back in the early 1980s. Your lives continue to be a testimony of God’s goodness and faithfulness. Be encouraged in this sometimes complex walk with the Lord. If I can be of service to you in addition to a prayer partner, please let me know.
    Love,
    Denise Brokenborough

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