Saturday, 20 December 2008
Romans 8:28 - Connecting Christmas to Easter
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
It is a tragedy that Mitchell Family Bookstore, one of the most significant Christian bookstores in Canada, was forced into receivership a short while ago. I was introduced to Mr. Mitchell Sr. early on in my Christian journey and his daughter and son-in-law have been friends of my wife's family for many decades.
I am all to well acquainted with the experience of losing the business one worked so hard to create. Romans 8:28 happened in my life for the first time when my first company went bankrupt and I cried out in utter despair, "God! If you're there, help me!" Such was the beginning of my personal encounter with God.
Knowing God, and knowing the Mitchell family, I am persuaded that there will be many 'Romans 8:28 stories' to tell before this [tragic] event is a distant memory.
It almost seems trivial but I am one who believes in Divine Coincidences. Two days ago we were at the bankruptcy clearance sale and all books were on sale for $2.95. Wendy and I picked up a dozen books we might not have otherwise considered. One of the books I chose was Changed Lives - Miracles of the Passion by Jody Eldred. Reading many of the recorded testimonies caused me to do a little internet research and I happened upon a video commentary by Lorna Dueck in which she interviews both Jody Eldred and Mel Gibson. Part of the program included street interviews in Toronto and I was dismayed and disheartened by the number of people who were totally ignorant of what Easter was about; "Chocolate." was the most heard answer.
I was reminded of the importance of having the Christmas and Easter Messages posted on the buses and subway systems, along side all the ads for Christmas gifts chocolate and Easter bunnies. How much we need to connect Christmas to Easter!
At the end of his book Jody Eldred says, "What gets me is this world thinks Easter is about bunnies. They put on nice bonnets and go marching around in parades. They go to church only once a year, and that's what they call Easter? No! I wont ever call it Easter after seeing this movie [The Passion of the Christ]. How could I? It's the day we celebrate the Resurrection. It's Resurrection Day..."