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Look at it this way.

as encouraged by Timothy Shepard

Ground Zero

MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT. Ever have one? Your friend dies; you lose your job; your wife leaves you (or vice versa); your dog dies; a hurricane wreaks your house; your partner steals from you; your heart or spleen gives out on you; your brothers sell you into slavery; your best laid plans crumble before your very eyes. Did I leave anyone out? Whether it is your own fault, somebody else's fault, an occurrence of nature, or a combination, we all experience major disappointments. Like it or not, think so or not, we are all essentially vulnerable. OUCH!

Consider how the disciples must have felt. They gave up everything they had, completely rearranged their lives to follow this man Jesus. He spoke of the Kingdom of God and faith. They called him master. As the story turns out, their master was publicly humiliated, scourged, and gruesomely killed. They went into hiding. Could this be the end of the story? Let's talk about a major disappointment. It's the beginning of the Easter story; it's integral to the Easter story.

I'm a Christian not so much because Jesus was born on December 25, nor because I like good liturgy, nor because I read the Bible or the Prayerbook, nor because I like the hymns "O Sacred head sore wounded" and "Shine Jesus, shine". I am a Christian because God's action in the resurrection of Jesus exemplifies a way to live my life. The resurrection is very unique to Christianity; no other religion has it. In early Christian writings, the proclamation of the Resurrection was the only thing. Not until many decades later, even centuries, did thinkers start to fill in the blanks about Jesus' birthday, and about such lofty and confusing concepts as the Trinity. Christianity starts with a resurrection that springs from the ashes of major disappointments.

So how do I deal with major disappointments? Simply put, I start by being disappointed, as fully as is appropriate. "To glory in the cross" is the first step. Claim your experience fully. Psychologists tell us that grieving is a process through which we must go through. The same kind of process holds true for disappointments. Eventually healing -- a grace in itself from God -- begins. Then the eyes of faith need to be opened to focus on the new thing that God might be doing. Resurrection power requires the posture of an awesome question mark with the assured expectation that an exclamation point will follow in the next sentence. Resurrection is the exclamation point found in faith. Resurrection power is in the mind set, the state of consciousness, the possibility.

We all have major disappointments. It doesn't have to be the final word though. It could be the first step for a new thing, a good thing. God shows us how he acts in the world. Believe it friends, live it, make it happen for your neighbor, sing it out -- "I know that my redeemer lives."

Happy Easter!