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Monday, April 8, 2013

We Are Easter People - The People of the Cross

"The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me." Matthew 26:11 (NIV©2011)

"The right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." (U.S. Declaration of Independence)

We, who believe in a risen and living Lord and have accepted his sacrifice as a means of grace and salvation, are all Easter people. Does that make us different? Of Course! Does that make us better, more loved, more deserving of God’s love? Of Course Not! The minute we feel more deserving, we are no longer Easter People. We are captivated by the world’s need for "specialness," "recognition" and "power."

Those who have leadership gifts are NOT to use those gifts to control others or make their decisions for them. We are called to teach leadership to others until we are no longer the only leader. Those who have, through earnings, inheritance, or happenstance, an abundance of money, are not to therefore acquire an abundance of things. We are to share those resources with those in need so that they are lifted up to more successful heights. We are not to help them depend on us forever. That stifles the creative spirit. The Bible tells us, the poor will always be with us . . . but they do not have to be the SAME poor. Life happens and circumstances change. We are to quietly, in secret if possible, inspire others to become their better self. We can do that through mentoring, personal assistance, the collective generosity of the church, as well as carefully chosen causes.

Think of Oskar Schendler, who started out as a self-centered hedonistic, self-serving business man—who became one who grieved that he had not given up everything he owned to save another child, another soul, during the Holocaust of WWII.

With "much" comes much responsibility. Power requires much humility. With control comes shared responsibility. God loves us all, in exactly the same measure, because his love is not calculated in "things." It is experienced in an ever-present presence, which makes it impossible to see ourselves above anyone else. We are Easter People. Let us live like the People of the Cross that we are. Let us pray:

"Holy Father of my Lord Jesus who died to save me from death, I humbly bow before you and claim your precious presence. Light of the world, breath of life, creator of all that has been and will be created, I acknowledge that I am nothing without you. Enter into my life each time I inhale your fragrance and abide with me there. Forgive me when I have made lofty plans and have asked you to support them. I long to hear your sweet voice tell me where you need me to go, what you need me to say, and what you need for me to do. May I be a true disciple, a true follower of you through the example of Jesus, the Christ. May I live my life in such a way that I have enough, and can share enough to make a difference, as one of your Easter People—the People of the Cross. In the holy name of your son, Jesus, the Christ of the world, I pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."Copyright 2013 Doris Gaines Rapp  

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