05 April 2010

Fourth Day

Jesus changed everything.

And the fourth day was the first day in that change.

When I was in high school, and then later in college, I was a part of a ministry geared towards youths.  This ministry put on events that would last one weekend.  I volunteered for several of them, and always had awesome experiences.



The weekend retreats were modeled loosely on the Passion of Christ.  On Friday, we would have discussions and talks on what it meant to live like Christ, to "take up our crosses".  Saturday we explored what it meant that we are sinners, and what Christ did for us on the cross.  Sunday was a special day.  We usually took part in the worship service of whatever church hosted us, with singing and fellowship afterwards.  It was always a day full of celebration and fun.

One of the talks always given was the "Fourth Day Talk".  Since the retreats were always three days, and during those three days you were surrounded for the most part with fellow believers, something always to be considered (especially for youths going back to school on Monday) was what we were to do with the day after.

We have just had this important, perhaps even life-changing event, and now we were going back into the "real world".

But the Fourth Day concept is larger than just a day:  it is the rest of our lives.  We all find ourselves in some sort of fourth day situation.  Whether it's a weekend youth retreat, or reading a book, or some other revelation, or perhaps a season of suffering and doubt that has now come to an end, we are different people than we were before the experience.  Something has happened, something has changed, and we know that we will never be the same.

The Fourth Day is filled with despair and questions:  We are walking down the road, and the weight of the experience sits heavy on us.  Who will we be?  What will happen now? (Luke 24, 13-35)

The Fourth Day is filled with hope: We have found and empty tomb where death was just yesterday. (John 20, 1-9)

The Fourth Day is filled with rejoicing: Our crucified rabbi has appeared to us and eaten with us!(Luke 24, 36-49)

So on this, the day after Easter, the Fourth Day and for the rest of your life, know that the hope you feel is real despite the despair.  That your rejoicing is not in vain, no matter what fears and questions you have.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28, 19-20 (emphasis mine)
He is Risen!


jj

3 comments:

CeridianMN said...

I just had to come on and let you know I really enjoyed this one. As Christians we often love to tell people about God, get them to realize they need Jesus for salvation, and then lead them in the prayer. After that we move on to the next person. The idea of the 4th day as you present it is a vital ingredient for continued sucess and change in the lives of all Christians. As much as we all need support beyond "the weekend" new belivers tend to need it more to prevent backsliding.

The Wingnut said...

Ceridian,

Thanks for dropping by again! I appreciate the dialogue.

You're right in that the approach we often use focuses on numbers rather than relationships, when relationships are I believe what Jesus had in mind.

The 4th day idea does promote these relationships, as we all can come together and walk as friends and neighbors, brothers and sisters.

I think it also fits well with the "Cosmic Christ" idea. When Christ died and rose again, something big happened. The effects of His resurrection are universal in scope, meaning that, I believe, the very fabric of the universe has changed in a fundamental way, bringing the entire Cosmos back into relationship with God

It's awesome!

jj

edenellis said...

Great post! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. Hope you and your family had a great Easter. Blessings in Him,

Eden

Thorns and Myrtles
edenellis.wordpress.com