Jesus – “A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” – John 10:10
Typically, when I settle at my desk to post a few morning thoughts, I’m not really sure the direction they’re going to take until I get started. Today is a case in point.
MEMORIAL DAY: First, it’s Memorial Day, and the cumulative fact of it is certainly working on the back of my mind. Then, once again, Sunday at WFPC was a powerful experience of worship and fellowship – all day, from Contemporary Worship at 9:00 through the traditional service, discipleship in-between, lunch with good people, then the late afternoon picnic and concert in the park.
This morning, sifting through a few photographs from the weekend, I noticed the phrase on the communion table in front of Rebekah as she was preaching Sunday morning: “THIS DO IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME.”
The point was hard for me to miss; there is little of any lasting value in this life that we can seriously consider without at some moment taking pause to remember the fact that my life – freedom, sense of security, the liberty to pursue happiness – cost somebody (many somebodies), at some time, absolutely everything that they had to give.
Jesus likewise presented humankind with the possibility of peace, promise, completeness, redemption, and eternal life, and in so doing Christ tipped the balance away from the values espoused, marketed, and controlled by “the world.”
The world was not – is not – ready to accept such a shift in the balance of power, and Christ’s great gift cost him everything.
But isn’t that the nature of the high prize? The most offensive thing to an oppressor is freedom, and the Power of Evil is always working hard to keep God’s children from experiencing the beauty of such a life.
So today it is a natural response to remember with gratitude every great sacrifice made in order to grant each one of us access to all that makes this life so amazing.
I’d like to say thank you. Thank you to Jesus, and thank you to the countless people who have given everything that they have for our benefit. And the best way that I can think of to do that is to enjoy this life with every ounce of imagination and creative love that I can muster. And that is where Jesus is so critically important to this story. Because God’s great invitation is not just to live, but to embrace life with fullness and with joy.
Jesus – “A thief (the oppressor) is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” – John 10:10
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.