But Then Came Sunday …

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Easter reminds us that victory can be disguised as defeat. It reminds us that every act of kindness done in the name of the Risen One is significant. It reminds us Christ is the hope of the world and He will be with us even unto the end of the age.

A few years ago, I walked in those places where Jesus walked in the Holy Land. It dawned on me yet again that Jesus did almost everything differently than conventional wisdom would have dictated. I visited Capernaum and Galilee, where most of His three-year ministry took place — a "hick town" ten days' journey from Jerusalem. Not the best location to start a movement that would change the world.

I also walked in the Garden of Gethsemane, where He prayed in agony that night — and then on to Jerusalem, where He appeared before Caiaphas and Pilate and where He was beaten and spit upon. Jesus was no conquering hero in the manner of Caesar or Alexander the Great. And then I followed His footsteps along the Via De la Rosa to Calvary, where He was brutally crucified. Not the best strategy to overthrow Rome and declare your new kingdom. 

As a marketer, Jesus didn't seem to understand "ratings" and size of audience. As a political figure, Jesus had a penchant for telling people what they didn't want to hear — take up your cross, lay down your life, the first will be last. And as a leader of the Jewish people itching to be freed from Rome's occupation and oppression, He commanded no army, brandished no weapons, and wielded no force. 

Everything He stood for seemed to be lost that Good Friday afternoon as His disciples watched Him suffer and die. Peter denied Him, and the rest scattered. The lofty ideals had been crushed. The movement had failed. End of story.

But then came Easter Sunday ... He is risen!

I sometimes feel the work World Vision does around the world is met by human suffering that never ends. Twenty-two thousand kids still die every day, 1 billion go to bed hungry, and more than a third of the planet lives on less than $2 a day.

So we work harder, raise more money, speak up to our government, stand up for justice, sharpen our programs, tell Americans that they can make a difference. What difference can our small actions possibly make? The poor are always with us. End of story.

But then came Easter Sunday ... He is risen!

"Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."

Easter reminds us that victory can be disguised as defeat. Easter reminds us that every act of kindness done in the name of the Risen One is significant. Easter reminds us Christ is the hope of the world and He will be with us even unto the end of the age. 

As you celebrate Easter, whatever is going on in your work or in your personal life, do it with the confidence that you serve the One who has overcome the world. He is risen! He is risen indeed! And that makes all the difference.

Photo ©2008 World Vision, Jon Warren

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