News & Notes Vol 13 No. 16

Nothing for Granted

Dear friends
Many of us have experienced an absolutely marvelous, moving, and profound Easter time.
I don’t know about you but for some of us it is easy to take the experience of Easter for granted. There is however nothing to take for granted in the Easter story. Christ’s triumph over death is not simply a wrinkle in history but that which changes all of history and changes me. I often think of the story of Jesus and the healing of the lepers (Luke 17:11-19). Many of us are so relieved that Christ in his resurrection has given us freedom from death that we fail to savor it fully. There is an amazing scene in the film version of C. S. Lewis’ Narnia Chronicles and the first book of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It is a scene just before the great battle where the great White Witch announces to her followers the following words, “Take no prisoners. Kill them all.” There is lots of evidence in the natural world where the biological destiny of every living organism is to die. It’s a term which is called entropy: all that which is alive must die. All that resists death can only struggle to the extent that it prolongs life but never defers forever the ultimate destination of all who are living. To produce a play on the words of the White Witch there is a sense in which Christ seeks by his Spirit to take us all captive; Indeed make us prisoners to himself in that wonderful powerful way of what it is to be at home in Christ. There is also that wonderful sense… that powerful sense… that he seeks that all that choose him might live… May we ever be reminded that to allow ourselves to be captured by Jesus is to be made free indeed.
There are some exciting things stirring in Western Canada. Spring is starting to come upon us. As I look out my Calgary office window I see the evidence, to some degree, of more frequently repositioning of potash and green cars moving from western ports to those 100’s of towns and hamlets where good things are grown for ourselves and the world (incidentally Canada is the largest producer of lentils in the world by almost twice its nearest competitor. Mark Doerksen and I were told by a grain terminal broker in Chaplin, SK, that the market for lentils grows by 100 million people per year.) Part of Spring is the preparation for summer camps many of whom are completing their interviews for summer staff. Please pray for them in this process. I’m sure many reading this newsletter would feel uncomfortable complaining that so many of the street ministries we speak of are in larger cities when small town and rural poverty is probably more acute because it is under resourced. Let me draw your attention to 1 of our chaplains, Chuck Harper and the ministry out of First Baptist Vernon but also to pause and note together at the memorial to those homeless who have died.
In conclusion, prayers for us all that we remember the gift of Easter as we celebrate the gift of new life every day.
In Christ,