This morning waking up to warm sunshine and blue skies gave my heart a real lift. I know that the weather should not determine my mood, especially when one lives in Minnesota year round! Still God created me as a physical creature that relishes sunshine and abhors long stretches of frigid, grey days. I am not a robot who has not feelings, but a being that has passion, joy, love, pain and sorrow.
Jesus was one who embraced all of life. He changed gallons of water into wine at a wedding feast (John 2:6-10). He enjoyed eating at lavish meals (Luke 5:29-34). He provided food for the hungry and healing for the sick. Jesus was not a spiritual ascetic who rejected the simple good pleasures God give to us. He spent some time in the wilderness, but even more time with people in the villages and towns of Galilee, Samaria and Judea. He came from heaven to live among us.
Jesus gathered friends around him and enjoyed their company. He wept when his friend Lazarus died (John 11:34). He rejoiced when his disciples return from their short mission trip (Luke 10:21). Jesus grew tired on his journey to Galilee (John 4:6). He became angry at the money changers in the Temple (Mark 11:15). Jesus did not pull away from life, but showed us how to enter it completely.
Growing up in western Washington state, I remember many weeks of grey cold rain. Though mountains surrounded us to the east and west, we did not regularly see them. When finally the clouds lifted and Mount Rainier was visible, everyone felt a lift in emotions, a lightness of heart. Our context had changed, and so did we.
The vibrant life of faith in Jesus will always be lived in context, in relationship to the culture, community, family and even the weather. We are physical creatures as well as spiritual. Let us be passionate in our embracing the vibrant life.
How have you experienced the Vibrant Life of Faith in Christ lately?