Mick’s Memo – The Danger of Familiarity
For over 2000 years now, the followers of Jesus have been aware of His resurrection. The first century eye witnesses both saw and touched the gloriously restored One who had been scouraged and crucified. They had been immobilized by fear and hopeless despair with the image of His broken, lifeless body etched in their mind. Then He stood before them, healthy, whole and immortal, confirming His victory over death. Just as He had predicted. They were irreversibly and radically changed. Their confidence and courage soared while their despair and doubts were subdued. They courageously bore testimony to their experience despite extreme measures intended to silence them. They changed the history of the world by fulfilling His command to love their enemies, their neighbors and one another.
Our situation is very different, but the mission is the same. We and many in the culture around us are aware of the Christian claim that Jesus was raised from the dead. But we didn’t personally observe it, touch Him, or share a meal with Him. His followers have been remembering His life, death, burial and resurrection through the symbols of the Lords supper and by the annual remembrance at Passover time that we now call Easter. We have heard it, read it, discussed it, sung about it, and watched movies or plays devoted to portrayals of the events. We are, I believe, in danger of being “comfortable” with the most amazing event in human history because it is “familiar”. Those in the culture are likely to package it with other religious claims that they consider less than credible myths.
One of our distinctives here at CrossRoads is a perfect antidote to those vulnerabilities. We are blessed with creative gifts God has given to Pastor Steve and the team of co-writers, instrumentalists, vocalists, actors and actresses, set designer/builders, and audio/visual/lighting techs. As a result, we see the familiar facts of the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus, but we see them in fresh ways that hopefully penetrate the fog of familiarity. Hopefully we get closer to the wonder and transforming truth of the resurrection and its implications for humanity. We get a fresh reminder of the courage of His representatives and their extensive impact. As we observe and reflect on what we see and hear it is a great opportunity to renew our sense of purpose. I urge you to prayerfully prepare to attend the presentation of “The Replacement” this weekend. Ask God to restore the wonder of the resurrection for you. Prayerfully consider others God may want you to invite to hear the best news ever.