In Touch April 2, 2010
Posted on April 2, 2010 by under Touché,

 “An Easter Dedication” 

Therefore, my beloved,  be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Cor. 15:58)

Many of you know that I have been reading a number of the “evangelical atheists” this Lent.  These are some authors (Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris) who have appeared on the scene aggressively arguing an atheist world view and trying to get many to convert .  It may seem like a strange Lenten discipline for a pastor, but it has prepared me for Easter Sunday like never before.  Especially in light of news I have received this week.

 The idea to become acquainted with these writers was inspired by a friend from the west coast.  I meet up with him in Holland, Michigan in the summer and we have spent a good deal of time talking about faith, science and world view.  He was raised in the home of a pastor and is now an atheist.  As we talk, he understands my world view from his background, but I realized that I have little understanding of how intelligent people can come to a conclusion that it is all dumb luck that we are here, and that dumb luck is something that we should convince others of.  I made a pact with him that I would read some of the authors he recommended so that I would understand more of where he was coming from.

 This week I heard that my friend’s life has crashed.  He has lost his job and his relationship. People are trying to encourage him to head into rehab. At this point he is unwilling to do so.  It breaks my heart to see a brilliant mind and a beautiful person in such desperation.  To live without hope is a dangerous thing.  To see our lives tied only to dumb luck can ruin us.  The message of Easter is that at its core life has meaning, purpose and is of eternal significance because the one who created us is calling us to be in relationship with him.

 I know there will be people like my friend worshipping this Easter.  He has reminded me that the stakes of this Sunday are life or death, hope or despair, faith or futility.  Thank you Christopher Hitchens, you have gotten me ready for Easter.  Christ is rise! He is risen indeed, Alleluia.