Psalm 18B: The Lord Lives – through the cross to resurrection!

Easter 2012           Psalm 18B: The Lord Lives! Through the Cross to Resurrection
Isaiah 25:6-9               Psalm 18B       1 Corinthians 15:1-11             John 20:1-18
Dear Mildred,
            Remember that fancy “tablet” my children purchased for me so I could send and receive email?  Toast.  But, I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let me tell you about my own particular brand of March Madness.
            It started two weeks ago Saturday as I was driving to the library where I was scheduled to do a travelogue on our trip to the Holy Land.  I turned the corner, pressed on the gas and . . . nothing.  My Chrysler 300 with less than 44,000 miles on it refused to accelerate. I called for road service and arranged for a ride to the library.  While in the midst of my presentation, the lens popped out of my glasses.  The only thing I could find to repair them was a paper clip, still I persevered.  After the presentation I received a call from my mechanic.  He told me they could not do the repair, it had to go to the dealer – never a good sign.  I arranged to have my car towed to the dealer, purchased a glasses’ repair kit, fixed my glasses and life was good again.
            On Monday morning I borrowed a car in order to keep my 7:30a.m. appointment for an ultrasound.  After weeks of indigestion I had finally scheduled a doctor’s appointment.  I was reluctant to do this because I knew it was never a matter of a one stop shop anymore where my family doctor was concerned.  The days of seeing the doctor, getting a prescription and going on my merry way are gone.  I still get the prescription but one doctor’s appointment usually leads to another and another as well as a round of tests.  I much prefer the one stop shop approach of previous generations to today’s practice of the family doctor being the gateway to countless specialists.  This was not just a pain in the gut but one elsewhere . . .
            After my appointment I called the service department to check on my car.  I was told it would be late afternoon before they would be able to get my car in.  Since they do not provide loaners I decided to get a rental car so I could maintain my busy lifestyle.  By 4:30p.m. they still hadn’t looked at my car.  By 10:30a.m. the next morning they were looking at it but did not know what they trouble was yet.  By 4:30p.m. they were busy working on the estimate – also not a good sign.  When I finally got the estimate at 5:30p.m., I had just pulled into a restaurant where I was meeting friends for dinner.  I was told I needed a complete redo of the transmission, plus rear brakes and rotors.  I told him to forget the brakes and rotors because I could go just about anywhere else and get them cheaper.  Just do the transmission. 
In a state of sticker shock from the cost for the transmission, I sat down, reached into my purse to get my prescription for Prilosec to take before the meal and pulled out an empty prescription bottle—the pills had poured out into the bottom of my purse.  I proceeded to dump the contents of my purse on the table in order to dig the pills out, realizing all along how foolish this was, better to wait until I got home, but I did it anyway.
That night I watched the dvd of the Adjustment Bureau with Matt Damon (so cute) that I had borrowed from the library.  I thought to myself, maybe I just need to adjust my thinking on this, be more positive.  I woke up the next morning thinking today would be a better day.  I was going to look on the bright side.  I sat up, reached for my glasses, put them on and the lens popped out again.
Later that day when I called the service department to get an idea when my car would be done, I was told the part was on back order and not expected in until April 11 – two weeks away.  So much for my positive thinking.
Thursday morning I turned on my tablet—no Internet.  The device was stuck on airplane mode and would not allow any internet access.  I called technical support and they weren’t able to help me so I took it to the store.  They were unable to help me as well.  The device was clearly defective.  They were unable to give me a new one.  Instead I was told I had to wait to have a replacement box delivered, return my defective tablet and then wait for a new one. 
I reached into my purse and . . . no billfold! I knew I had it on Tuesday night when I had dumped the contents of my purse at the restaurant but hadn’t seen it since then.  Did I leave it at the restaurant?  Where else could it be?  And me with no internet to check my bank accounts and credit cards.  I racked my brain to remember every step of the last two days.  I called the restaurant and, no, it wasn’t there.  I called my bank – no suspicious activity, called my credit cards – no suspicious activity.  I put a temporary hold on my credit cards while I searched for my bill fold.  I called a friend I had visited the day before to see if I could have left it there.  No answer, she wasn’t home.
At this point when I got the call from the doctor’s office with the results from my ultrasound, I was tempted to not answer and wait until the next week when maybe things would be looking up.  With the way my luck had been this week, who knew what she would say.  Nothing serious, she said, but she wanted me to see two specialists, which was precisely why I didn’t want to see a doctor in the first place.
Then my friend called and, yes, she had found my billfold which must have fallen out of my purse and onto the floor under her coffee table.  And so the tide had turned – the first good news all week.  My car is still in the shop.  I am still without internet and I have a round of doctor visits ahead of me, but my billfold is secure, my identity and financial accounts remain my own and all is right with the world.  March Madness is followed by April Fool’s Day; Holy Week gives way to Easter.  It’s better to laugh than to cry.  Happy Easter!
Your Friend,
                                                                        Vista Grande Boca
Have you ever had days like these, or weeks or even months, when your life has taken a downward turn and you keep thinking, hoping, you’ve hit bottom, time for things to start looking up?  We’ve all gone through our negative patches at times.  Certainly the last few days of Jesus life weren’t the best.  He didn’t die peacefully at home, surrounded by loved ones, but died alone on a cross, a spectacle for all to see.  Perhaps he hoped against hope that something would happen, that things would turn around and he would be rescued in the nick of time; that his Father would reach down from the clouds and take him from the cross as he knew God could.  But it didn’t happen.  He had to go through the cross to get to the resurrection, but what a glorious resurrection that was.  The Messiah King was finally restored to his throne, not an earthly throne but a heavenly throne. 
Our psalm for today is the victory hymn of a king.  He has proven victorious in battle, has overcome his enemies so that now all nations are subject to him.  Jesus, through his cross and resurrection, has proven victorious over death, alleluia!  The armies of the enemy cannot prevail.  Satan can do his worse, while on this earth it may seem like he is winning at times, but he will not prevail as long as we remain faithful.
While on this earth, we have troubles, but those who persevere in faith will be rewarded.  The indigestion of today will give way to feasts on the mountaintop, as we see in Isaiah, where we will be able to eat our fill with no negative effects.  While on this earth, we experience the effects of death in our bodies as we lose abilities we once had.  We experience the loss of loved ones, friends, family members who have died.  While on this earth we are limited indeed.  We are dependent on cars, trains, planes, boats for transportation.  It can be very frustrating when those do not work.  But Jesus came to let us know that this life is not all there is. 
In the next life, death will be no more.  We will see again those we have loved and lost.  We will be able to run, even fly, our feet will be as swift as a deer’s, like a mountain goat we will be able to climb great heights, walk on the edge of cliffs.  Our feet will be sure, we will not stumble or fall, as our psalm tells us (33,36).  The psalm speaks of the greatness of our king.  We as his followers share in that greatness, but we also share in his suffering while on this earth.  It is through the cross that we get to the resurrection, but oh, what a glorious resurrection that will be.  So let us keep the faith, fight the good fight, following under the banner of Jesus, Christ our King.

Robertson, copyright April 2012

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