In 1897, Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) was believed to be on his death bed. Already an American legend, the death of Twain would be national news. As the legend goes, a young reporter stopped by the Clemens house to check in on him, and maybe get a scoop on this story when, to his surprise the author and comedian was not only alive but in perfect health. In his typical style Twain gave the reporter a now famous description of the situation by quoting to the reporter, “the reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” In reality it was Twain’s cousin James Ross Clemens who had been ill.
Perspectives change when someone famous dies. Prior to death, you might anticipate the next time you will see each other and plan what you will do together. For a famous author or musician you might look forward to their next project to be released for your entertainment. After death, our perspective immediately looks backward because all we have left of our loved ones are memories. There will be no new experiences, conversations or new projects to consume.
Which perspective best describes your relationship with God? Do you rely more on the past memories to make you nostalgic and feel connected through what others tell you? Or, do you enjoy each interaction with God and look forward to the next time you’ll be together?
Easter is a great reminder that Jesus is not dead, God is not dead; our best times are not behind us. Jesus is Alive! God’s blessings, promises and hope are for today and for our future! We look to the past. In order to get better understanding on what the endless possibilities are to meet God right where we are. Remembering the past of God’s work in history is like getting back together with an old friend and recollecting favorite memories while at the same time creating new ones.
May this Easter be filled with many new memories. And may the blessings of a living God be with you now and until we all meet again. “Why do you look for the living among the dead. He is not here, he is a live, just as he said!” Luke 24:5-6.
His servant and yours,
Pastor Erik Gauss