One of the things that Eloise and I were excited about my “retirement” from itinerant ministry is that we won’t have to move again unless we choose to do that. We’ve moved 10 times since we’ve been married, besides moving our parents or helping our kids move. That’s a lot of U-Hauls! Our son Daniel wrote from his overseas deployment in Qatar that he is so looking forward to moving to El Paso this summer, almost as soon as he gets back to the states. We are looking forward to their being closer to us, but I am inwardly giving thanks that I don’t have to actually be involved in this moving process! My sister and brother-in-law (who is also a United Methodist Preacher) called to say they also think they will be moving this summer, but they don’t know where yet. Again, I gave thanks inwardly that I don’t have to worry about that any more.
As I thought about Easter, I realized that Easter is also a moving day for all of us. When Jesus moved from grave to Glory, He also moved us along with Him! This is a big move, but unlike all of my pastoral moves across the Southwest, it doesn’t involve either U-Haul trucks or being in the Bishop’s long list of pastors who are involved in the United Methodist moving day this year. Because Jesus rose from the dead and left that earthly grave behind for Heaven, He also opened the way for you and I to receive a free pass to go to Heaven with Him. When we die, we get a “Get out of the grave Free” pass to be with Jesus in the Kingdom of Heaven. No boxes to pack, no truck to load, no costs to pay, just a free move into Heaven instantly because of Jesus! The Apostle Paul in Colossians 3:1 says, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated on the right hand of God.” I know that there may be somewhat of a delay between now and the time you actually get to go to Heaven, but the good news is that you are going because of Jesus’ resurrection and it will be an easier move than any of the troubles you may have had with any earthly moves. (Eloise and I had one move where we had an accident and rolled the U-Haul truck into the ditch half-way between Roswell and Vaughn, NM which was NOT a fun move!)
Aren’t you glad you can look forward to your final “moving day” without having to worry about where, how, or any of those other things involved? Because Jesus Christ moved from that grave to Heaven on Easter, you will be moving, too. All expenses paid. All sins forgiven. No worries. No fears. That is what the Church celebrates on Easter each year. The good news of Jesus’ move is for you and me, too! Halleluia!
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Jeff Symonds