So its Easter 2011… and believers all over the world are celebrating something that took place in a “graveyard.” Usually not much worth celebrating seems to take place in graveyards. Of course, it wasn’t any ordinary something, no, in fact it was the most extraordinary event in history. The enemy that was assumed to be unconquerable, namely Death, was brought to its knees by a poor Jewish carpenters son from Galilee. It was not even a fair fight because the humble young man was also the sinless, incarnate Son of God, Jesus Christ. He is the author of life, so death was really no match.
The thought of all this is not only joyous, it is also full of irony. Our generation has a little trouble distinguishing “winners” from “losers” it seems to me. We worship celebrity and hang on every reality show twist and turn. Charlie Sheen has drawn a few chuckles lately with all of his talk of “winning.” He seems to base his claim on a simple observation…. and one that is hard to argue with… He is part of a hit TV show and apparently has a few gazillion dollars to his name, thus… winner. His unstable, crass, drug influenced ramblings aside, I wonder if the joke isn’t really on us. That’s right… Sheen is a prophet.
If our generation were forced to choose between the life, core values, and “outcome” represented by Jesus’ version of winning, or that represented by Sheen, I wonder what most would choose. With Jesus we have humility, sacrifice, service… winning based on an eternal scale, what has been offered to humanity.
As we celebrate this Easter… maybe one useful mental exercise would be to take a moment… and ask a few hard questions of ourselves. Do we really understand what winning is? Are we prepared to “win” through serving, sacrificing, even suffering?… A quick look into an empty tomb should give us all the necessary data to get a good idea of the difference. Erma Bombeck once told a class of graduates at a commencement address, “ladies never confuse fame with greatness. They are not the same thing. One is Madonna and the other is Mother Teresa.” Wise words. Are you WINNING?
The truth shall make you free!