My seatmate is a NONE. No religious affiliation, but curious about me as a Baptist leader. She is a dentist, mid 30’s and she opened our conversation up to a deeper level with this question: “You are into religion, right? Can I ask you a serious question that is not a Bible question? Why do you believe in the resurrection of Christ?”
My response: Pick a favorite place in the world. Go there in your imagination. It may be the Grand Canyon, a Rocky Mountain lake, the beach at Maui with gathering rain clouds. Imagine lying on your back in that beautiful place and remember the moment that you appreciated God as the creator of the universe.
First, I believe that God is The Creator and I believe he is still The Creator of the world and the universe. I also believe that because God is good, his creation is good.
Now back to your chosen place. All of creation carries a message, a sign-post of resurrection. Wherever your imagination has taken you, in that natural setting, I am sure that there is a message, an echo of resurrection. In every part of the natural world from the tiniest quark to the molten lava of fiery volcanoes, to the great cycle of rain to seawater there, in nature, lies a message for all creation that points the way to resurrection.
Life to dying to death to dormancy to renewal to life to death to life is an integral part of ALL creation and a part of God’s goodness in it. One reason I believe in resurrection is that ALL creation carries sign-posts for it across all times and all cultures and all circumstances of nature and humanity.
I believe in the resurrection of Christ because of love. I believe the resurrection is real, because God is LOVE. Consider LOVE and how you experience it. We do not manufacture it, it is not held in an emotional bank account from which we deposit and withdraw. It is abundant. By that I mean if I have one child today and tomorrow my second child is born, I do not take the love for one and divide it in half. No, I have just as much love for my second child as for the first. God is love and as God is abundant and creative, so love is abundant and creative.
And tomorrow when I have a grandchild, make a new friend, meet my son’s fiancée or even bring home a puppy – I will have MORE love without relinquishing any love from my present (or past) love relationships. These newbies will form and change me as well because of the quality of love that is in them. This is true across all times, cultures and geographies; love is not just mine, but is also the common experience of all people everywhere.
Clearly, I am not in charge of LOVE. I only know it by the comparatively small acts of love that enter my life. But if God is LOVE, then it is love that can be the source of resurrection where LOVE wins above even death. God can reach into the deepest darkness and grab hold of us and bring us out, right back into the fullness of love. And just as nature points to resurrection, so also our experience with enduring love in relationships is also a signpost to resurrection. Take these two ideas about creation and love as a beginning.
As we landed, we exchanged business cards and on the back of mine I wrote the name of a CBF friend in her town and reminded her to call this person, and share a cup of coffee.