Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Here's one of my favorite and most salty stories that I cannot tell on Christmas Eve or Easter Day for fear of insulting people who insult God by winking at Him during their semi-annual pilgrimages to the holy land.
A man dies, goes to the gates of heaven, and is greeted by Peter who asks, "Why should we let you in?"
"Because," the man claims proudly, "I went to church on Christmas and gave $5."
Peter turns to Gabriel who checks the book and says, "That's right. He went to church on Christmas and gave $5."
The apostle asks the man, "What else?"
"Well," the man continues, "I went to church on Easter and gave $5."
Peter turns to Gabriel who checks the book and says, "That's right. He went to church on Easter and gave $5."
The apostle asks the man, "What else?"
"Hey, hey, hey," the man protests, "What do you mean, 'What else?' I was just like every other 'member' who went to church on Christmas and Easter and gave $10 a year."
Peter turns to Gabriel and asks, "What should we do?"
The wise old angel strokes his beard, closes the book, and says, "I say we give the $10 back to him and tell him to go to hell."
I should but don't tell that story because I did about 30 years ago and two church ladies took me into a back room and told me how rude I was for insulting people who insult God by winking at...
Is it any wonder why so many churches are going straight to...?
Speaking of integrity, Easter Day is sooooooo big because everything about Him/us depends on it.
1 Corinthians 15:14: "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."
If all of that/our talk about Jesus' resurrection is false, He's a poser and so's the Church.
Buuuuuuut if He did beat death, everything that He claimed is certified and winking at Him has frightful consequences existentially and eternally.
Sooooooo the credibility of Jesus' divine declarations and the Church's affirmations of those divine declarations depend upon the fact of His resurrection.
It's been said there's more evidence for the resurrection of Jesus than the birth of George Washington.
1. The Church has consistently focused on and referred to the resurrection of Jesus as the keystone of its praise and practice since A.D. 32.
2. The worship calendar shifted for Christians from the Jewish Sabbath (7th day of the week) to Sunday (1st day of the week) because Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday (see Mark 16).
3. The New Testament consists of 27 testimonies to our Lord's resurrection.
4. The disciples were transformed from cowards into bravehearted gospelers willing to face the tests of torture and martyrdom because of Jesus' resurrection.
5. Jesus is alive to all who believe in Him. This is the most compelling proof of all: "You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart!"
Those facts have caused authentic Christians to worship Him regularly, work for Him enthusiastically, and witness to His invitational, inclusive, unconditional, and eternal love convincingly.
The greatest proof of His resurrection is the hunger/thirst of people who get it/Him to increase intimacy with Him.
People who know Jesus is alive live and look like it.
Resurrection people can't distinguish between Sundays.
All of 'em get maximum effort/enthusiasm.
Every Sunday has been, uh, resurrecting for those who know the real deal since that first one.
The local street preacher who has insisted I approach Rabbi Cahn's The Harbinger with more than a wink called earlier in Holy Week and told me how much he dislikes Easter Day worship because of all of the posers who show up and bring the story in the first section of this KD to mind.
Before I could bring it up, he contradicted, "And don't tell me what a great opportunity it is to tell people about Jesus who never show up who never show up anyway. When are you going to get it through your skull that they're just doing their superstitious religion thing so they can think they're safe by covering their bases on...?"
Before I could bring it up, he contradicted, "Why don't you stop playing footsies with those phonies who show up once or twice a year and tell them that they better get right with Jesus before it's too...?"
Help us, Jesus!
That's what He proved by His resurrection.
Because it's/He's true, everyone distancing themselves from Him will be sorry sooner or later and definitely in the...
I don't know if that message can wait for the week after Easter when only the choir's around.
All I know is people who really get it/Him consider every Sunday to be "a little Easter" and are compelled so joyfully and eagerly to...
You can always distinguish the authentics from the posers.
It's the difference between Church and church.
Blessings and Love!