More than you ever needFr. Barnabas Powell
Christ is risen!
Abundant life! What does that look like? Life that goes beyond mere existence or survival and enters into a life that is fulfilling, meaningful, and purposeful. Abundant life means that death, every manifestation of death, is overwhelmed by life that makes death irrelevant and impotent. Abundant life is the life God knows. Abundant life is God’s life.
Listen to Christ: “The Lord said, “I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:9-10)
As we progress toward the Feast of Pentecost, and we live in the heady days of Pascha, we are invited to discover on an ever deepening level the reality of the Resurrection in our daily lives. This growing “dawn of truth” is meant to throw into stark relief the shadows and darkness of hatred, arrogance, and bitterness: the slavery that grips those still imprisoned by the strength of death.
Lofty words, I know, but they have practical and daily applicable function to each of us.
Let’s look at how Abundant Life transfigures everyday life.
First, Abundant Life transfigures routine. The life Christ came and gave us doesn’t remove us from routine but fills every routine with eternal meaning. As the Apostle Paul commands, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Abundant Life isn’t life lived with our heads in the clouds – being so heavenly minded we are no earthly good – but a life that fills up our daily lives with eternal joy. When we have Abundant Life our daily routine takes on eternal significance.
Second, Abundant Life transfigures relationships. Abundant Life means that I don’t have to “defend” myself, God, the “truth,” or “what’s right.” The truth is a Person and He is quite capable of defending Himself. Defending myself is so easily turned into defending my ego or my oh so easily offended pride. But Abundant Life means even the attacks of my enemies will fail because they can never succeed in exhausting my supply of Life. My life is “hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:3) Even my enemies are to be loved and prayed for, because they are “ministering” to me the manifestation of Abundant Life.
Finally, Abundant Life transfigures reality. If death is truly defeated by Christ, I am finally set free from having to “fix” all around me and I can finally focus on my own struggle toward God. I don’t have to remedy others’ lives. Death is destroyed. The antidote for all is abundantly provided. My greatest gift to all around me is my own embrace of this new life in Christ, this Abundant Life. My reality, and all reality is now filled up with remedy, solution, peace, and joy. There is no more death. Now to the wise struggle of working that new and living reality into every aspect of my own soul. Freedom to truly live abundantly lies before me. Why would I busy myself with lesser pursuits?
Today, my dearest ones, my loves, Abundant Life is set before you. How will this Abundant Life, this life that is always bigger, always available, always inexhaustible, show Himself in your living today? Wherever He does show Himself today, He will transfigure the (your) world.