The message of Easter says that we are not stuck in the past. The story of the cross and the empty tomb says that we are no longer slaves to guilt but have been set free. Peter wrote to the ancient church that “we’ve been given a brand new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven – and the future starts now!”
If the future starts now, and it does, then we can be set free from guilt. We can walk away from heavy-handed nostalgia and recognize, like Carly Simon used to sing, that “these are the good old days.”
I like to read Peter’s letter in the days after Easter because his message reminds us that God’s spirit is at work now. There is a tendency after celebrating the resurrection to ask “What happened to the huge crowds? Where did all of the lilies go? Was that Sunday just a momentary blip on the radar screen of life? Are we back to the same old same old?”
No, we are not. The resurrection is a grand invitation from God to live toward the future. Easter tells us that God is willing to bend low enough to embrace us while whispering in our ears like a kind and loving parent, “I love you.” We are sent into our tomorrows with the voice of God speaking words of grace.
In the final book of The Chronicles of Narnia, Aslan the Lion defeats evil. The children who have been in the center of the tale find that they stand now in a vast and wonderful land. The landscape has been transformed from a bitter frozen hades to a beautiful paradise.
C.S. Lewis writes: “All their life in this world had only been the title and cover page: now at last they were beginning chapter one of the great story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”
You won’t hear a better description of the promise of heaven, of the promise of new life that God has given to all of us. The past is prelude. Our lives in this world are only the title and cover page for the glorious days that God has set before us.
The Future Starts Now.
Grace and peace to you,