Friday, April 14, 2017

take off your grave clothes

Everywhere you look are dead men walking. The grave nips at the heels of every person you pass by. You'd see it if you gave them a second glance. Why else would the human race look so much like a rat race?
People pace, eyes downcast, pushing, shoving. Hands out, clawing their way up the system, standing on, crushing others just to get a scrap of love.
Of success.
Of acceptance.
Of peace.
Anything for a breath of life.
There are corpses on these streets, friend. Walking, talking, smiling on the outside, but there's a mummified spirit underneath.
The question of,
“How are you?”
Is quickly put to rest with,
“I'm fine,”
Because to admit to being anything less than fine is to admit that we are less than.
Less than perfect.
Less than okay.
Less than...
You laugh at the foolishness of hope. Scowl at it, curl your lip, shove it away. There is no room for life in the land of the dead. You're knee deep in the mire of failure and forgotten dreams. You hold tight to those grave clothes, you don't want to think about what might lie underneath.
Did it ever occur to you that those dead dreams, that broken spirit...might only be asleep?
See, I know a couple who prayed fervently for a child. Ten years passed and still...nothing seemed to be happening. Meanwhile, they took in every foster kid that came their way. Nurtured them with all the love in their hearts, whether it was for six months or just one day. But they never stopped hoping for a miracle of their own. She's four now, always clinging to her mother's side. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.
See, I know a woman who spent eighteen years locked up in a cell for the things she had done. But those last seven years of time served, her heart had never been freer. All because she met Jesus in the back of a patrol car. It didn't matter that she was in handcuffs because every chain had just been busted off her soul. After her release, working in a little coffee shop, the daughter she had been cut off from twenty years prior sent her a message on Facebook. Broken relationships don't last when you belong to the One who will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.
See, I know a man from Nazareth. A place from where “nothing good could come”. He walked dusty roads, healing the sick and doing good to all people. The religious establishment saw Him as a threat. Ridiculed Him, tortured Him, hung Him on a cross. When He gave His final breath, the hearts of His followers were broken. All hope was lost. Three days later, He rose from the grave, bringing with Him all power and authority in heaven and on earth.
He is alive and He is in the business of resurrection, my friend. He has the final say over all things, even that which you have long since buried. Take off your grave clothes. Leave them right where you stand. Walk out of the tomb. The Resurrection and the Life is calling your name.


scriptures: luke 1:45, joel 2:25, matthew 28:18