The Time is Now

The Time is Now

Posted on April 29, 2017

BY KATIE WENCLEWICZ, GRACE ATTENDER & BLOGGER

I remember when I first questioned death. I was nine-years-old and decided to watch MTV when my parents were outside watering flowers. As a young girl living in a conservative household, there were things that I was not allowed to watch and MTV was one of them. What a better opportunity to tune into the one thing I wasn’t allowed to do when my parents were outside, right? I quickly learned my lesson.

I believe it was a re-run of “The Real World” and one of the cast members had received a call that his mother had died. My first reaction was, “Dying? What really is that?” At the age of nine, I hadn’t ever come in contact with death, so I was completely oblivious to what the word actually meant. I mean, don’t’ get me wrong, we talked about heaven in Sunday School – but death was never something many young children understood.

I ran outside to my parents immediately, with tears in my eyes, and told them that someone’s mom had died on TV. I started ramming them with questions. “Will he ever see her again? Where did she go?” It was at that moment when my parents had to really explain what death was and what that meant for Christians. I didn’t really understand, as in my Disney movies death was this nice thing where they always magically reappeared. It was never something that seemed like a permanent thing.

As Dave said this past Easter, we see death in movies and we read it in stories and find it to sometimes be a beautiful thing. On the contrary to what we might believe – death is terrible. Losing a loved one or even hearing about a tragic death through social media is sickening. Death steals joy and it implants immediate sorrow into our hearts. Sometimes, it comes out of nowhere and our lives are instantly shaken up.

You read of stories like the older gentleman in Cleveland who was shot unexpectedly and even the terrorist attack on 9/11 that threw America for a whirlwind. It’s awful. It’s sad. It’s depressing.

Here’s the thing, though. While death is so disgusting – we have hope, through death, that we will be raised to live with Christ for eternity. This weekend, we learned that Jesus’ resurrection not only destroyed the power of death, but it brought so much power.

While death carries so much hurt, it doesn’t always have to for us as Christians. Through Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, we have been promised eternity with him and also – it gave us the power to be priests to the world around us. What does that exactly mean? Let me tell you.

When Dave began sharing verses from Revelations, he shared a specific verse that really surprised people and here it is: when Jesus died, heaven came down. Yes, you’re reading that right. Heaven came down and God instantly joined his people. Taken from one of my favorite worship songs, “The King is among us and his love is victorious.”

When we die, we are promised an eternal life with no more fear, pain, brokenness, and tears. We are told that there will be a day when all is washed away and we will forever live in peace. How come we have to wait for this time when we are living in a time that aches for that peace right now?

For those of us who have been held in bondage, we tell ourselves that one day those chains will be broken and we will feel freedom. For those of us who have been broken, we tell ourselves that there will be one day where we feel no more pain. For those of us who have experienced excruciating pain, we tell ourselves that there will be one day when we are healed.

My friends, that one-day can be now. While we are all broken people, we have hope through the death of Jesus that we will be with him, but people around us may not share that same hope. As “priests” and ambassadors for Christ – we are to shake off all that hinders us from making disciples and being bold in our faith.

Though sometimes it feels like Friday, Sunday has already come.

This beautiful hope that has been given to us isn’t limited to just the future. As Dave has told us, the time is now and we don’t have to die to alleviate the tears and pains. We are residents of the holy city. It’s here and now. The Holy Spirit lives within us and among us. Let us grasp to that hope and not fear death, as we have so much hope through the most historic death in history. 

As Dave ended his sermon, it’s up to us to face death and dry every tear. It’s time to show compassion and heal pain. It’s our time to seek God for strength and courage that can heal all.

The hope of Easter is how you live right now. While death may bring tragedy, Jesus’ death brings glimpse of hope and life.