March 31, 2022

Dr. Jerry W. Light, Sr.   -  

Is our culture ready for Easter? No, I am not referring to citizens in Alabama in general. I am speaking of Christians in the church, more significantly at First Baptist Selma. I do not refer to your decorations, or your plans for Easter week. I’m not thinking of the clothes that you will wear Easter Sunday or the meal that you will enjoy with family and friends. What I am considering is this; Are our hearts truly prepared for the celebration of the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord?

C.S. Lewis spent a considerable time writing about the resurrection. He ponders a great deal about why and how we even approach God. Lewis points out what a “very strange consequence” this really is. “Man approaches God most nearly when he is in one sense the least like God,” he says. “For what can be more different than fullness vs. need, sovereignty vs. humility, righteousness vs. penitence, limitless power vs. a cry for help?”

I love the imagery that is cast here! We are in the least like God when we approach him. How true. Lewis says that it completely “wrecked” him when he realized it. We are, however, made in the image of God, more so than any other thing in all creation. Simply because we are human, we are nearest to God among his creatures. But Lewis reminds us that nearness in nature is far different than “nearness of approach.” Lewis paints for us a picture to help get his point across. “Let us suppose that we are on a mountain walk to the village which is our home,” he says. “At mid-day we come to the top of a cliff where we are, in space, very near it because it is just below us. We could drop a stone into it. But as we are not mountain climbers we can’t get down. We must go a long way around on the road; five miles, maybe. At some points during that detour, we shall, statically, be far further from the village than we were when we sat above the cliff. But only in the moment of stillness are we unchanged. In terms of progress, we shall be far ‘nearer’ our time of rest and refreshment at home. At the cliff’s top we are near the village, but however long we sit there we shall never be any nearer to our rest until we get going.”

Are you preparing your life to celebrate the gift of forgiveness? Are you ready to move forward on that spiritual pilgrimage? Our devotion and adoration of our Savior is the only gift that we can offer Him. Is your life ready for that day? Bathing and dressing our person is not enough. We must cleanse our hearts. The mystic Irish Christian missionary Amy Carmichael said, “You can always give without loving, but you can never love without giving.” If you sincerely love God, you will offer yourself as that living sacrifice. Scripture tells us that the gift of ourselves is our   reasonable service. God bless you all!

 

In Jesus’ love,
Dr. Jerry Light