I remember over 10 years ago when DVD’s first came out. I can’t remember which movie it was that we had watched but when it was over my girlfriend said, “Let’s find the Easter eggs.” I thought she had gone crazy. She explained to me that Easter Eggs were these hidden features you could find on the disc. They were actually really cool.
Daring to be called sacrilegious, I will suggest to you that the Bible if FULL of Easter Eggs. You can read it at face value, cover to cover and miss so much. Honestly some passages are outright confusing when you read them at face value and do no further investigation.
For goodness sake look at 1 Corinthians 14:34
Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.
Churches are overwhelmingly failing at upholding this law that the Bible is VERY CLEAR on!
Most people understand that there is obviously more here than reads the eye. There is background, contextually, culturally and geographically, there is translation to consider (Greek has 5 words for love, we have 1 -come on!) etc. etc. This is one of the beautiful things about the Bible. It doesn’t just sit at surface level – you have dig. If you do not dig, your theology will be very contradictory. There are Easter Eggs that need to be discovered by you. It means you have to reach into the letters and punctuation and find out what was the original meaning and how do we apply it to now.
The Bible was written thousands of years ago and I passionately believe it is still relevant today. Yet another beautiful thing about God’s love letter to His people, that He wrote through His people.
What do we do when we read through the very same passages and arrive at different conclusions? We tread humbly and respectfully, showing love to each other. We listen and re-examine. Sometimes we will have to agree to disagree and work through how to do life together with differences.
It doesn’t mean you have to be a theologian to understand the Bible but it does mean you need to work at it. This leads me to believe that Jesus never wanted followers who are happy being spoon-fed and have things laid out like underwear with the days of the week on them. He wants thinkers. He wants people who aren’t afraid to question. If only our church leaders wanted the same thing.
I remember there used to be a saying that, “if you were put on trial for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict?”
This saying made me think about all the good deeds I had done or maybe feel guilt over the non-Christian music I had listened to that week.
What if love was the evidence that we were children of God, BECAUSE IT IS : see 1 John 3:14
Would there be enough evidence to prove you belonged to Him? How much love have you shown this week? Guilty?
I have lost many people in my life in many different ways. The pain from some of those losses has lessened over time, for others the pain can be fresh and real at any moment. I think this has given me the ability to relate to others who are in pain and understand things they might be going through.
Initially you need to give yourself time to grieve. That may look different for everyone. Whatever your way to grieve is, is what you need to do. How are you going to get out those overwhelming initial waves of pain? Do you need to cry, scream, build something or go for a walk? Do you need to be with people or be alone? Whatever it is make sure you take the time to self care and not just stuff everything inside. There will be times when you need to hold it together to accomplish some of life’s demands, but there has to be some time for a release of emotions.
Once you get through the initial torrent of grief, comes the time of returning back to routine and what life will now be like with the absence of the person lost. This is where I think some people get lost. This process is especially a problem if the loss is significant – how do you “get back to life” when there is a gaping hole?
As I mentioned before there are some losses that I will carry with me. There are times in life when I think, “she should be here,” “they would be X years old now,” or “she would be so proud.” There is something, someone missing. There is pain you carry.
I was recently reading about a mom who lost her son and she realized that others were going through the same thing she was and decided to reach out. Her son died in a Marine Corp helicopter crash and she sends packets of letters and helpful materials to families also affected by such a loss. Philip Yancey says, “The activity has not solved the grief for her son, of course, but it has given her a sense of meaning, and she no longer feels helpless against that grief.”
I think that is the key – finding a way to find meaning and no longer feel helpless against the grief. I am convinced I will carry this pain with me until I reach heaven and so I have to find a way to not have that loss overwhelm or dictate the rest of my life. We will never find meaning if we only focus on ourselves. Look at the needs of those around you. Is there a soup kitchen nearby that could use a volunteer? Are there other families you could host a group for? There are so many different ways to get involved that the importance is to do just that – get involved. You are not helpless – your life doesn’t have to end just because theirs did. You still have life – live it, and live it with meaning.