Monday, April 13, 2009

Reason to Hope Again--Wesley Foundation E-letter (Methodist Campus Ministry)

Hey everyone!  I hope you had a fantastic Easter weekend.  It was just so good to be with family and remember God’s goodness.  Now it’s time to jump back into the craziness of a semester speeding toward conclusion!  Let’s all hang on for a wild ride!


This Tuesday night at 6:30pm we will conclude our look at the armor of God.  Join us for a message on the Sword of the Spirit.  In the armor this is the only offensive weapon God gives us.  Find out what it is so important, and so powerful. 


Also on Thursday night at 6:30pm we will eat FREE FOOD, and we will talk about the message we want to bring to local congregations as we tell them about the Wesley Foundation.  Come ready to sing and celebrate all the good things God is doing! 


This Sunday we travel to Mount Union UMC to sing and share.  Meet at the Wesley Foundation at 9:15am.


Now For Sami’s Ramblings About Jesus:


I have just finished a book called The Centurion’s Wife.  It is the fascinating story of a centurion who is assigned by Pilate to discover the truth behind the missing body of Jesus following His crucifixion.  As a reward for his services the centurion is promised the hand of Pilate’s niece who lives as a servant within Pilate’s house.  Specifically this young woman is the handmaiden to Pilate’s wife, who sends her on a similar mission, asking her to befriend Jesus’ followers as a way to understand why she is troubled by dreams of the dead prophet and whether they are planning to revolt against Rome.  The journey of discovery that both pursue lead them to a faith they never imagined.  But it also reveals the story of the first believers and how they experienced the baffling events of the crucifixion, resurrection, and eventually Pentecost.


What intrigues me most about the story is how it brings a fresh insight to the events of the resurrection.  For many of us we have heard the story so often that its implausibility is lost to us.  Of course Jesus was crucified.  Of course on the third day He rose from the dead.  Of course He ascended into heaven.  Of course He gave us His Holy Spirit so that we might know His presence with us always.  These are things we take for granted.  But could you imagine the shock and impact that these events had upon those who actually lived through them?  They had no way of knowing what would come next or what the implications would be.  They were immersed in a sea of confusion, impossibility, and faith-full waiting.


It is also a hope-filled waiting because the tragedy of Holy Week has been transfigured into the triumph of hope.  I love that.  I love that Jesus has a way of taking our most desperate moments and making them beautiful reasons for celebration and praise.  I don’t know how He does it; He just does.  It is the power of resurrection that remains alive within Him.  He resurrects all kinds of things.  Just when we think all hope is gone, and there is no basis for believing anymore, Jesus gives us a reason to hope again and legitimizes our belief. 


This to me is the miracle of Easter:  the God who seemed so distant during our black Good Friday legitimizes our belief with Sunday morning, in ways we could not have foreseen or even have had the good sense to hope for.  The Easter experience of resurrection is so far out of our sphere of imagination, we don’t even know how to ask for it, yet in God’s tender love and mercy He gives it to us anyway.  Eventually God makes the basis for our faith legitimate.  Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  Did you get that?  This is powerful!  Eventually our God-inspired faith finds its fulfillment in things that ACTUALLY come to pass.  Our faith in Christ is not baseless.  While Jesus asks us to trust Him, it is not without good reason, and it is also not without proof.  It’s just that the proof comes later.  We can trust that He wouldn’t ask us to trust Him if He knows that evidence of our faith won’t come at all.  Could you imagine what it must have been like for those early disciples when they finally got it?  When they finally understood that He meant what He said?  That when he predicted His own death the part about His rising again was just as real?  That moment of recognition must have changed everything for them.  In fact it did.  They go on to become fearless messengers of the good news that Jesus is alive to us all. 


So I find this truth to be at work:  We cannot always prevent, escape, or get out of our Good Friday’s, but the power Easter Sunday morning is still working within us.  We just have to wait to see it come to life.


This is me trusting,




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Sami Wilson

Campus Minister/Director

WKU Wesley Foundation

United Methodist Campus Ministry



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