Today is Easter Sunday. For many, it will be a wonderful day of worship and fellowship with friends and family. In anticipation of our grandchildren arriving this afternoon, one of my Good Friday goals was to mow the backyard. (Get it in shape for a big Easter egg hunt). But about half way through the project the unthinkable happened: the front wheel came off of my riding mower. The "pin" holding it in place had snapped and wheel came completely off. Fortunately, a friend came to rescue me. The same thing had happened to one of his tractors and he knew exactly what to do. In short order, he had me "up and mowing" once again. But sometimes, things aren't that easily repaired. Sometimes when "the wheels come of" we are faced with a true crisis...
This morning, after my mower incident, I received a phone call from my son. He is the Executive Director for a large Youth and Family Services organization in Oklahoma City and I could tell from his voice that he was very sad. He told me that the day before one of his shelter workers (a man, 54 years old with a wife and teenage son) had died suddenly from an apparent heart attack. In this event the "wheels had come off" for a young family, a human service organization, and a community of friends. My son was was still "scrambling" to respond to the crisis as he give me this shocking news. There are times in our lives when "the wheels simply come off!"
Can you imagine the shock in the minds and hearts of the disciples as they saw their Lord arrested, tired, and crucified. At the death of Jesus, the "wheels seemingly came off" for the entire world. Now I say "seemingly" because fortunately, the death of Jesus was not the end of the story. On Easter morning Jesus was gloriously and victoriously raised. The message of Easter is that no matter the degree to which the wheels are coming off in your life; Jesus is alive and through His resurrection power your life, family, and circumstances, and be transformed.
One of my favorite verses, (which is the theme verse for my counseling practice) is 1 Peter 1:3, "In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." This verse is a reminder that, no matter the degree to which our lives have been damaged, through the resurrection power of Jesus we can still live in hope. My prayer is that today, each and every one of us will have a blessed and Hope-Filled Easter. No matter what circumstances we are facing, we can, with boldness, proclaim: the Lord is Risen; He is Risen indeed!!
Dr. Allen Schneider is a United Methodist pastor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist presently serving the Sapulpa and greater Tulsa communities.