“Oh, how many travelers get weary
Bearing both their burdens and their scars
Don’t you think they’d love to start all over
And fly like eagles out among the stars?”
I had Johnny Cash keeping me company on my drive home from work today. Not literally, as that would be a bit creepy.
I had a CD of his that I checked out from the library. It’s an album of previously unreleased material that Cash recorded back in the early 80’s. I don’t know why these songs didn’t see the light of day until recently. I’m not a music exec.
I do know that the song “Out Among the Stars” spoke to me, particularly the chorus.
How many out there are carrying burdens and scars from a lifetime of things they did and things done to them? How many cry out incessantly for a chance for a do-over?
The beautiful thing about the Gospel is that it is the Gospel of Second Chances and Do-Overs? When you belong to Jesus, what you did in the past no longer matters. It’s who you are now that counts. It’s WHOSE you are now that really counts.
Sure, past actions have present consequences. But those actions don’t have to define you or the choices you make today. They don’t have to determine your future.
There’s a line in an old Switchfoot song that I love: “Every breath is a second chance.” That’s what Jesus offers. Not just one second chance, but multiple do-overs. In fact, each new morning is a clean slate filled with God’s new mercies and lovingkindness.
That’s what I cling to these days. That’s what I hold on to on those dark and dreary days.
By the way, that Johnny Cash CD is worth picking up if you haven’t purchased it already. Just follow this link:
“Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen”
I celebrated with about 130 or so others at the future location of The Church at Avenue South. Though the building has been gutted and won’t be ready for official use for another two months, still the real church got together to proclaim to anyone and everyone that this is Resurrection Day.
The resurrection DOES change everything. It means no more fear of death because Jesus overcame that last enemy when he walked out of the tomb with the sunrise on that first Easter Sunday. It means that whatever I’m afraid of has already been defeated and overcome by this same resurrection power that brought Jesus from death to life.
It means that there is no such thing as TOO LATE, that there’s always time for a do-over and a second chance and a fresh start, that as long as we’re alive we have a purpose and a God willing to bring out that purpose in us.
So I revisit an old Easter toast that I blogged about three years ago today: “We lift our glasses and drink to a Love that never gave up.”
I’ve posted a link so you can read the original post if you want.
Regardless, I’m glad that Easter has come. I’m glad that it isn’t just one day a year, but something that I can celebrate all 365 days (and 366 on those leap years). I’m thankful that just because the holiday ends doesn’t mean the power of that resurrection or its effects do.