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Clout in high places

April 26, 2011
By PASTOR ROGER LEMKE, Fishers of Men Lutheran Church

A newspaper reporter interviewed a successful businessman and asked: “How did you make all of your money?” “I’m glad you asked. Actually, it’s a rather wonderful story. You see, when my wife and I married, we started out with a roof over our heads, some food in our pantry, and five cents between us. I took that nickel, went down to the grocery store, bought an apple, and shined it up. Then I sold it for ten cents.” “What did you do then?” “Well, I bought two more apples, shined them up, and sold them for twenty cents each.” The reporter thought this would be a great human interest story. “Then what?” the reporter asked excitedly. “Then my father-in-law died and left us $20 million.” The man prospered not because of his own ingenuity, but because he was connected.

To say: “I have connections” means: “I have access to power, wealth, knowledge or friends in high places and thereby, I have confidence that I can succeed.”

Easter is the good news, confidence-building message that we have connections in high places. Because “Jesus is the resurrection and the life” (Jn. 11:25) “death has lost its sting and the battle and Christ will give us victory over all things” (1 Cor. 15:57).

Some women were on their way to anoint the body of Jesus, but the men wouldn’t get out of bed. For these ladies it was an impossible Easter morning, because there was a huge stone that blocked the entrance to the tomb. “How are we going to get in, they wondered?” But when they arrived at the grave to their utter amazement they found the huge stone rolled aside and the grave empty. Easter is the good news that entrances can be unblocked, that stones can be rolled away, that things seeming impossible can be made possible “through Christ who strengthens us” (Phil. 4:13).

Easter is not an event 2000 years ago. No, Easter is a contemporary process whereby the spiritually dead, the unhappy, the sinful, the weak, the suffering find new life through the Triumphant Christ who wants to transform us weak-kneed Marys from terrified to terrific.

A man walked into an old country store and was surprised to see three men and a dog playing poker. Astonished, he asked: “Can that dog really play poker?” “You bet.” “That’s incredible.” Another player shrugged and said: “Not really, he’s not that good. Whenever he gets a good hand, he wags his tail.”

On Easter, let us wag our tails a little, for we are connected to a loving God who is holding the winning hand! Let us wag our tails a little for Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life, and if you are connected to me, you will be filled with power, victory and abundant life.” Let’s wag our tails a little because we not only have clout, but a friend in high places who assures us that we can have victory over all things through Him who strengthens us.


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