Monday, April 21, 2014


When I was a kid I used to think of Easter as being a holiday something like Christmas. And it actually was, in several ways. Instead of presents under the tree there were Easter baskets "hung by the chimney with care." Instead of the anticipation of Christmas morning there was the hunt for Easter eggs. And always, with both holidays, there were Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls . . . and church.

My dad, er, I mean the Easter bunny, did a real good job of hiding Easter eggs. They had to be visible of course. They couldn't be INSIDE anything, not visible at all. They had to be able to be seen. Some were relatively easy to find. Some were impossible! But all were visible, depending on your viewpoint.

Sometimes, my parents had to help us with the really hard-to-find eggs. "Your getting warmer. Oh, now your getting red hot!" Our relative hotness or coldness eventually guided us to the promised land and we were able to find all of our eggs.

Another more recent example of viewpoint was the total lunar eclipse we had last week. It was visible here in North America but if you were living in Germany for example, your viewpoint was such that you couldn't see it.

Our faith is like that. Some of us were raised in Christian households so our Christian faith is all we have ever known. That's simply the way it's always been. We have always been Christian so our viewpoint is through a Christian lens. But there are other faith-based viewpoints in this world to consider.

There is a Muslim viewpoint, a Hindu viewpoint, a Buddhist viewpoint, even the viewpoint of the atheist. Faith, or lack thereof, can be seen from different viewpoints.

The resurrection of Christ is pivotal to the Christian faith. As Paul told the Corinthians in his first letter, "And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile . . ." - 1 Corinthians 15:17

So how do we know which viewpoint is correct? What evidence is there for our beliefs? Is our religious viewpoint the correct one? Or are we wrong?

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." according to Hebrews 11:1. I think that is true for all faiths. All religions around the world are based in faith. So what makes Christianity different from any other religion on the planet?

All faith have their gods - Buddha, Muhammad, Hindus have many gods. Christianity however has a unique one - one God in three parts. But what sets Christianity apart from all other world faiths is the morning of the third day after Jesus had been crucified. They day that Jesus was risen from the dead. No other faith that I am aware of claims a central figure who was dead and buried, but then was raised from the dead. And what's really unique, Jesus post death life was witnessed by hundreds of people. So it was true . . . and there were witnesses!

Those witnesses still exist today. They're not the SAME witnesses. There are new ones every day. Hundreds, thousands of different viewpoints, all coming to the same conclusion. That Jesus Christ died, was buried, and on the third day he rose from the dead. He humbled himself and by taking our place on that cross, offered a totally new viewpoint on this life and what it means and what death means - not an end, but a new beginning.

The world in which we live has its own viewpoint. It is different from our own. Do you remember the 1965 Christmas TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas? It featured a poignant reading of the Gospel of Luke where Linus uttered those famous words upon completing his reciting those verses from memory. "That's what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown."

My wife just watched a 1994 Easter TV special called It's The Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown. Nowhere in it's 30-minute length did the show mention God or Jesus or the TRUE meaning of Resurrection Sunday. The viewpoint of the world has changed. And not for the better in my opinion.

What is your viewpoint like? Is it like the world's? Ignoring Christ and his sacrifice on the cross? Or do you see the world through God's eyes? Is your heart broken by the things HIS heart hurts for? The widow, the orphan, the outcast and the poor of spirit.

Believing what we choose to believe out of The Bible is not acceptable. We must become like Christ in our thinking, in our interaction with the world. We must love others as HE loved us and we must love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. We must have the viewpoint . . . of Christ.

"4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked." - 1 John 2:4-6

His Eye Is On The Sparrow - Imani Bradford

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