On Sunday morning, as I open my eyes and consider rolling over, pulling my comforter over my head and going back to sleep, two things will come to mind: 1) I should have written the KIC (Kids in Celebration) teachers apology letters in advance for children I fully intend to drop off jacked up on at LEAST 3 different forms of sugar, and 2) how the Easter baskets left out on the floor of our living room are pretty laughable in light of the holiday they are intended to celebrate.
|Photo by: Grant Cochrane|
In an effort to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, my children will stumble, eyes half closed to my living room only to find a basket with some marshmallow chicks, a chocolate bunny filled with peanut butter, jelly beans in bags made to look like a carrot and a DVD I picked up off of the sales rack at Target. In light of what the Mary's discovered at the tomb on the very first Easter morning, an angel just kickin' it, waiting to tell them the greatest news of ALL time, perhaps an empty basket would be more apropos? On second thought, no, because that empty tomb held so much! It held promises simultaneously made and fulfilled; victory complete and only just begun; that seemingly empty tomb held the salvation of all, whether accepted or refused.
I guess marshmallow chicks pale in comparison. Though delicious, a chocolate bunny wrapped in gold colored foil, doesn't quite get it done, even if it is wearing an ascot and smoking jacket. At least at Christmas we can explain the presents by declaring it's Christ's birthday.
Look, I don't really mind providing my kids with the socially expected Easter baskets, I don't. But does it end with the bunny? Does it end with dressing them up in their Easter best and packing them off to church so enthusiastic teachers can explain the miracle of Easter and give them color sheets? Does it end with a nice ham dinner at the folks? Does it end?
I've recently considered this idea of dreaming BIG because my God is BIG. What Jesus accomplished on the cross was BIG. Victory over death is BIG, the purification of sin is BIG, putting hell in it's place is BIG, but where do my dreams fit in? Does the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ end at 11:59pm Sunday night? To me it's all connected.
I'd like to think that one day, one of my primary skills used by God would be writing. I like it. It's part of my BIG dream. Would it be cool if I wrote a book and it was published? Yep. Would it be cool if that somehow became my primary source of income? Yep. Would it be cool if all of that happened on a grand scale? I don't know. COULD God include my dream in His plans? Yes. But does any of that have anything to do with my purpose in this life?
I don't think so.
12 When He had finished washing their feet, He put on His clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” He asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them."
Aside from establishing taking communion, doing a final rundown on important teachings that the disciples (us too!) would need for their ministry work and praying... lots of praying, He established an example of service to others, and His example was HUGE, but is actions were small. It was Jesus, He had the authority to have them immediately cleansed from head to toe and clothed in sparkling white robes, He could have pulled a full-on Oprah's favorite things on them. But He didn't. He stripped down, got on His knees and washed their feet. He washed their filthy, mud encrusted feet. It was small, but it was so BIG.
Then He said, "I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you." Jesus always let by example. So, it brings me back to my thoughts on dreaming BIG. How do I define BIG? Jesus defined big differently than our society. Granted His entourage was BIG, but that's where the similarities end. He performed singular, small, sacrificial acts that spoke volumes, that impacted all of eternity. Sure, people's sins were forgiven, the dead were raised up, blind eyes and deaf ears were opened, feeble legs strengthened, demons driven out, but all done with a heart of service and in peace. He didn't strive to do any of it. He walked the path set in front of Him, He spoke the words given to Him, He performed the seemingly silly acts that He was given, He spent every moment saying "Yes." to the Father.
His sacrifice on the cross was HUGE, but it was one step in front of the other on the road to Golgotha. It was remaining silent in the face of His critics and condemners. It was choosing to submit to God's perfect plan despite the cost to Him. Even in the moment where the physical pain was excruciating as He hung on the cross, His earthly ministry spoke volumes and He considered the thieves surrounding Him.
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Even to the very end as He saw in faith the gates of hell thrown open, the veil torn, graves being tossed open, the Holy Spirit descending in the upper room, thousands being saved in a singled day, Stephen being stoned, Paul getting knocked on his hindquarters, every person that has been saved since that day and until the very end of time.
His joy was not found in the end of His pain, but rather the salvation of people He loves so dearly. I am convinced that if remaining on that cross, in that horrible pain would have saved even one more, He would have done so.
So, as we enter this most Holy and fun of weekends, please take a moment to make sure that your BIG dreams are not overshadowing the small tasks of service God has given you. After you've colored your eggs and filled your baskets, be generous. Be gracious. Be forgiving. Be loving. Then let your BIG God come in and do what you cannot, heal the hurting, mend the broken, and save the lost.
Dream BIG with God's heart and let your small actions speak loud!
Happy Easter! Don't wait until Sunday to thank Him for all that He has done!