Sunday, April 7, 2013

I like stories that end well.

            When I was growing up, I loved to read. I read all kinds of books. When I discovered Doctor Dolittle, I read every one I could find. I went from there to the Hardy Boy mysteries, to Tarzan, to Treasure Island and the Three Musketeers.  The first books I remember reading were fairy tales. What child doesn’t like to hear stories like Snow White, Cinderella and Jack and the Bean Stock? These stories are timeless because they not only entertain but they have a happy ending.  No matter how bleak things looked, the story always turns out the same, “AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER.” Who wouldn’t like a story like that?
            One of the reasons fairy tales developed over the years was to give people hope, especially young children. In previous generations, life was often hard. People led hard lives. They were often poor and oppressed. They were worried about how they would make it from one day to the next not what they were going to do in retirement or whether or not social security would be there. Fairy tales were a chance to escape their dreary existence and dream. While fairy tales may be fun to read and lift our spirits, they give us no real help or hope. They are just stories and nothing more.
            Some believe that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is nothing more than a fairy tale, an uplifting story. The miracles of Jesus are discredited. Miraculous events in the Bible, like the flood and creation, are brushed aside by “scientific evidence.” The Bible is simply seen as a book of myths and fables.
            On Easter Sunday, churches across the world will be filled with people. It happens every year. They come to sing alleluia and praise the Lord for “Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!” Why would we gather if Jesus were still dead? Why would his disciples and myriad of followers go to their death rather than deny him if he had not risen as he said he would? St. Paul puts it this way, “If Christ is not risen, our faith would be in vain.”
            Jesus did rise. The angels asked the women, “Why are you seeking the living among the dead. He has risen, just as he said.” Our faith is not in vain. Christ is risen. He is risen indeed! The story ends well for it is not just a story. It’s true.
            If you want “your story” to end well, put your faith in Jesus for he says that whoever believes in him will never perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 & 11:26)