By William Voelker
Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
Christians too often let vague hand-waving language creep in when we speak of Jesus. We talk about him as if he is sort of; kind of in the room; somewhere nearby; or as if he is vaguely present in some spiritual way and if we say and do the right things we might get his attention.
Such wispy spirituality slides right over the heart of Christian belief. That Jesus has been raised from the dead. That Jesus lives, even now. Many Christians celebrated Jesus' resurrection this past March. What we believe, is that Jesus really did rise from the dead. Not in our hearts; not metaphorically; but in real flesh, bone and blood. If Jesus is alive today and cannot die again, and we believe, we know that he does live, then those hazy ways of speaking can't have a real place in Christian speech. Not to each other, and not to our friends and neighbors who do not know Jesus. We instead get to speak of Jesus as alive, as active, as present, just as he promised to be.
Jesus died and now lives for the world. To bring forgiveness and life to people otherwise left on their own without hope. Christians get to live without having to put ourselves first -- as if we are the ones who matter -- because Jesus, in making us his own concern, has taken away our need to make ourselves the central focus of our lives. Christians -- and this can be easy to forget, as we humans are more than a little interested in ourselves -- now get to look out for and serve the people around us. Not because we're better than other people, because we're not. Not because we need to change other people, only God can do that, but because we want everyone to know that Jesus lives, and lives for them. Jesus lives. And because of that, Christians have hope. Hope now, and for what is to come. This is good news we can't help but share.