It is Easter weekend and I hope you all have a great time with family and friends. If you have little ones I wish only the best of weather, so the egg hunt can be carefree and fun. Our youngest is entranced by the idea that Easter comes on April Fool’s day this year. I do not know what he is planning but he sure is having fun thinking about it.
Last week we took the youngest to see a movie titled “I Can Only Imagine.” When the movie was over, he looked up at me and said, “I think I left a wet spot on your shirt.” I hugged him close. It is nice that in all of the violence and hate of his world he can still cry at a movie. And I cried all through the movie and I believe dad might have had a moment or two.
This Easter weekend might be the appropriate time to take in a movie which looks at the idea of making changes in our lives so that we quit hurting others, and so that we get things right before we move from this world into the next. I Can Only Imagine is also a song which asks its listeners to think about what will happen on the day we enter heaven.
This song has long been one of my favorite songs and I have yet to sing it without crying or trembling for it is one of the things I often think about. What will happen when I stand before Jesus and give an account of my life? Bart Millard, the writer of the song, gives suggestions as to what he think might happen. Will I Sing? Stand? Fall on my knees? Shout? Be silent? Will I look for loved ones whom I haven’t seen in a while? Is it silly to think I will get to see them?
While I can only imagine what will happen on the day I enter heaven, I don’t want to ever forget that there is another possibility and when I see Jesus I might have tears of sadness running down my face and agony in my heart because of the choices I have made. Perhaps He sent someone for me to help and I ended up ignoring them or turning against them. Perhaps He put me in situations where I was to shine for Him and I ended up bringing everyone down with all my fussing and complaining. I can only imagine.
When we were young not only were we encouraged to think about what it would be like to live in heaven, we were also encouraged to think about what it might be like if we did not make it into heaven. The possibility of hell was just as real to me as heaven. Because the idea of hell has significant ties to accountability, hurtful things, punishment, and other yucky consequences, we often gloss over it and neglect to tell the next generation.
I don’t want to throw a wet blanket on things, but isn’t that the real beauty of celebrating Easter? We know that there is a way for us to avoid the pitfalls of hell. It does take some effort on our part to be accountable, to be loving, to be unselfish, to be kind, and to be gracious towards others, but not really that much effort when I look at the bigger picture.
When I listen to the song I am reminded why I do the things I do and why I make the choices I make.
Surrounded by Your glory What will my heart feel
Will I dance for You, Jesus Or in awe of you be still Will I stand in your presence Or to my knees will I fall Will I sing hallelujah Will I be able to speak at all I can only imagine
And that is why on this weekend we celebrate. Without the death of Jesus on the cross, there would be no reason to imagine.