What difference does the resurrection really make to me today?
You might want to read this.
Listen to podcast by clicking this link: http://www.pastorwoman.com/podcasts/3efa454d-9e29-4277-b6ab-ffc486dcbe01.m4a
"So what?" I tossed over my shoulder at Kimmy Fletcher. Truth is, I wasn't asking a question; I said it with sassy sarcasm in the same vein I said, 'big deal!' Truth be told, I was probably being bratty in response to something that made me jealous or envious of my neighborhood chum. I was not really asking the question 'So What?' like 'what's next?' or 'what does that mean?" But I am now.
So what? Easter celebrations are over - unless you are Orthodox, in which case this is holy week for you. But this morning I woke up thinking, 'So what?' See, I often have an ongoing dialog with some faceless skeptic or nameless scoffer . . . and today I heard him say, 'Even if Jesus rose from the grave, so what? You made a compelling case, but all these years later . . . so what? What difference does it really make to me? [If you didn't read "Victory" - the last Morning Briefing, you might want to do so now; it IS compelling: http://pastorwoman.com/ReadArchive.aspx?id=2954]
So what? I should like to answer that question in two parts.
My feet had not even hit my bedroom floor today when I thought of his young face, and then his brother's too. Stick with me here. Yesterday morning as the Easter service began, I was standing in back of church, ready to walk in with the rest of the this-weekend-only-choir, when a lady approached me, 'Do you know if there are earplugs anywhere?' See, our worship band can be a little loud for some, so earplugs are available. 'Yes' . . . I started to point and then said, 'come on, I will take you to find them.' With the swish of my black choir robe, we were off.
She turned, 'my son has a brain tumor and the drums are hard for him...'
I swallowed, 'Oh, I see.'
'Now that's not the crippled son you helped into church--the other one.'
I turned to look into her eyes which quickly filled with tears. Instinctively, I reached out and hugged her tight, 'Could I pray with you after the service? Listen--God still does miracles; I know because he did one for my son. God answers prayer.'
'Oh yes, please!' We departed - she to her seat with her family, me to walk in with the choir.
As the service neared its end, I made my way to the earplug mama. I stood several feet away, so she could see me, but without pressing. I mean, who knows? She could have decided against the prayer-that I was weird and she wasn't down for it. Not so.
I smiled, she smiled, so I stepped forward and introduced myself to her family, which turned out to be nine in number with grandparents and an uncle. Everyone else was filing out of the packed sanctuary. I explained how I had materialized-meeting the mom and all-and why I know that God hears and answers prayers. Then I turned to the young man with the very short hair.
'If it's okay with you, could we pray that God would totally heal you?' I gently queried. He nodded and said his own quiet 'yes.' I explained that my two-year-old had needed God's miraculous touch when the doctors' best guesses about his kidneys had failed. 'See, I don't know what you believe, but I grew up in a church where folks did not talk much about miracles. In fact, in all my growing-up years, I never remember anyone praying God would do a miracle, that he would heal someone miraculously. That was, until we were in need of one, and then God sent a stranger to tell me she was going to ask God to do a miracle for Danny, and then she prayed a bold prayer.' True that - in October, 2000.
Sixteen-year-old Billy agreed we ought pray. And then as is my bent, I asked his family to gather round and we all held hands----see, I believe in the solidarity and unity of praying all linked together like that.
So what? So what difference does the resurrection of Jesus Christ make to us today? Check out Romans 8.11: The same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you and me, Christian. Therefore, we pray boldly with that knowledge.
Here is the prayer I uttered Sunday morning that you can personalize and pray too:
Your Word says that the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead lives in me. You said we are to bring the sick for the prayer of healing1 and that the earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results2-so we pray together right now! And Jesus, just before you went to the cross, you told your disciples from now on, that they should ask for things in your name.3 We know that there is power in your name.
Therefore, in obedience to you, we pray for Billy, Kevin, Angel, Jack, Steve, Tony, ______. We lift them up to you, and we pray in your powerful name, Jesus, that you will touch and heal ______; use the doctors, medicine, technology if you wish. We know that you did not cause this illness, but you can heal it, and that is what we are asking today.
We pray this in the authority of the scriptures and in the power of the name of Jesus,
So what, Friends? That's what.
The same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you.
1 - James 5.14-15
2 - James 5.16
3 - John 16.24