May 15, 2018
by Nancy Shirley
Creighton University's School of Nursing
click here for photo and information about the writer

Tuesday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Lectionary: 298

Acts 20:17-27
Psalms 68:10-11, 20-21
John 17:1-11A

Daily Easter Prayer

Celebrating Easter Home

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

An Easter Blessing

Easter Joy in Everyday Life

We are Easter people – we have been redeemed by Christ – we have seen Him suffer for us, die on the cross for us, be buried for us but then Rise for us and just last week ascend into Heaven.  So even the apostles now are alone but ready to receive the Holy Spirit.  Of course, for us, we do not, did not, have the opportunity to walk alongside Jesus when He walked this earth as a man.  However, we do have the opportunity every day to walk with Him in spirit and to serve Him by serving others.

As I read these readings, the words from Glorious Day (by Casting Crowns), echoed in my head.

Now He’s ascended, my Lord evermore
Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him
From rising again

Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming

There is no doubt in my mind that our salvation is in our relationship with Jesus and how our lives reflect that.  Paul reminds us that our bodies are temporary – he does not fear death from life on this earth.  At this point in his life, Paul wants to survive only to fulfill his mission – so not living for himself but rather his opportunity to bring others the Good News of Christ. My husband and I went to see the movie, Paul the Apostle, and while I’m not sure the details were all accurate what came across clearly was that Paul understood his mission and was willing to go to any lengths to fulfill it.  These movies (books, etc) always leave me wondering, would I be able to do that?  Perhaps, even more importantly, am I willing to do that now?  I’m pretty sure I will not be martyred for my beliefs or anything I say or do in the name of Christ.  So that it not the death I need to endure, what I need to do, however, is to be “dead” to the temptations of this world.  I need to let the ego die that sometimes creates a barrier to my purpose on this earth.  I remember a movie once where the last line was Satan saying, Vanity is my favorite sin. Indeed, I have no doubt it is seeing what vanity can lead any of us to do.  I need to let the love of things die – not that it is wrong to have some nice things but they cannot be idolized or made of greater importance. I need to let my pettiness and resentments toward others die – if I’m seeking forgiveness, I certainly must be willing to forgive.  So am I living to fulfill my true mission, my true purpose of this life?

So like Paul am I willing to say (and live it!)

Yet I consider life of no importance to me,
if only I may finish my course
and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus,
to bear witness to the Gospel of God's grace.

As I close I must leave you with one more song that has been “playing in my head” (worse things could be going on in there!!). It is a song from MercyMe and offers a great way to face life and it possible once we recognize that Grace Got You!!!

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