In a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:52)
NO MATTER WHERE you find yourself these days, people are always on their phones.
The other day, I sat waiting in the car outside of the grocery store as my wife ran in to quickly grab something.
While she was gone, I watched as person after person walked by my car, reaching into their pocket or purse, and answered their phone.
No doubt they were probably getting last-minute additions to an already long grocery list.
Some may have received some updated plans for the night or the upcoming weekend.
Perhaps some were getting called into work or scheduling appointments.
Then, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed an older woman walking with her face to the ground. I noticed how tight she held on to her phone as she spoke into it.
As she cleared the front of my car and made her way to the sidewalk, I watched as she wiped a tear from her eyes. What did that call bring her?
Every day, you and I walk through our lives attached to electronics that at any moment can bring us to our knees, that can suck the wind out of our lungs, even devastate us.
In the blink of an eye our lives can be changed with a phone call from a doctor’s office, a police officer or our boss.
No matter where we find ourselves — picking out apples at Walmart, at the movies; in the waiting room at the doctor’s office — our lives can take a terrifying turn.
Our lives can take a terrifying turn as the darkness of sin, death and the sufferings of this world break into our lives.
Through Lent and as we moved toward Easter, we were focusing on our dire need for God’s mercy in our lives.
We meditated on our need for him to come down into the wreckage of this world, to live a perfect life, bear the cross and bear the righteous wrath of God for our sake so that the terrifying darkness of eternal death would not be our future.
What Christ did for us on the cross when he rose from the dead changed everything for us.
His death changed everything, and Easter changed everything.
Easter put an exclamation point on what all the other miracles of Christ pointed to: Jesus was indeed God’s Son (Romans 1:4).
Easter proved, in no uncertain terms, that Jesus’ word is truth (John 2:19, John 8:28).
Furthermore, Easter accomplished completely the reconciliation we now enjoy with our Father in heaven.
We were dead in our sin, slaves to this world, bound in the devil’s kingdom and God’s enemy (Ephesians 2:1-3, Romans 5:10, Romans 6:20-21).
Easter changes everything for you and me as it gives to all those who call on the name of the Lord, victory over death, Satan and sin (Romans 10:10-13, John 11:25-26, John 14:19, Colossians 2:15, 1 John 3:8, John 8:36, 1 Corinthians 15:57, 1 Peter 1:3).
When he called us out of the darkness and into the marvelous light and united us to his death and resurrection through baptism, he changed everything for us (1 Peter 2:9, 1 John 1:9, Romans 6:3-11, Colossians 2:9-15).
Because of Easter, we now stand victorious and at peace amid the tumultuous life we live.
We now stand hope-filled, knowing that the troubles and afflictions of this world are only momentary, and even death has no power over us as we are in Christ (Colossians 3:1-4, 1 Corinthians 15:52-57).
This present reality all Christians enjoy will be seen by every eye as the dead will rise imperishable.
This joy of a resurrected life will begin in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. It will be ushered in with a cry, a command and the trumpet call of God.
In that moment, we will be resounding with shouts of joy as every tear is whipped away by the hand of God (Revelations 7:14, Revelations 21:4).
When that call comes in, there will be no fear, pain or worry; there will be no need for police or doctors (Isaiah 65:17-25).
We walk around all day with a device that can at any moment devastate us emotionally. It is time to put it down and hold on to the one thing that can overcome anything this world can throw at us (Romans 8:35-39).
May the realities of Easter remain with us every day. May the realities of Easter defend us from the terrors of this world. May our Lord equip us to witness to the realities of Easter to those around us.
Issues of Faith is a rotating column by five religious leaders on the North Olympic Peninsula. The Rev. Patrick Lovejoy is minister of St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Port Angeles. He can be contacted at 360-457-4122 or [email protected].