Rolled Stones

Notes from the pastor


Dear Front Street Church Family,

According to Greek mythology, there is a figure named Sisyphus, a man who was doomed by the god Zeus forever to roll a large stone up a hill in Hades.  Just before the stone reached the top, it would roll backwards, against every effort of Sisyphus.  Forever straining at pushing this mighty stone, Sisyphus would spend eternity never accomplishing his task, entirely without hope.

I imagine we have all felt that sense of endless, hopeless, grinding in our life and that a good portion of life consists largely in rolling a huge stone uphill, an effort in which you are entirely alone and dare not stop.  That stone may have one label or many: filling all the requisites for each rung in the corporate ladder, lest you be left behind; being all things to all people at work or at home, so you’ll be loved; trying to do something worthwhile to make up for a past sin; struggling for achievement so as to be noticed.

Maybe one or more of these is yours; maybe your stone has a different label on it.  The point is, you’re rolling it uphill, and every day, every week, every month, every year, it becomes heavier and heavier.

And you would like to stop rolling it, but that seems hopeless and impossible.  Then one day, out of sheer exhaustion, you slip and the old stone comes crashing down.  And it becomes the stone that seals your tomb.

I know you have met people who are living on the borderline.  They continually confuse survival with life.  I believe one of the biggest stones we roll is fear.  Fear that our life in the end will have no meaning.  Fear that failure will have the last say in our life.

The God, who rolled the stone away that first Easter morning, entered the burdened lives of the disciples.  Someone has said that the early disciples, the early church, made no attempt to explain the resurrection – it explained them.  They were no longer a huddled lot of frightened people, but a people who moved forward courageously with a message of undying hope.  No longer enslaved to their fear, they awaited the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and then moved forward to be the living triumphant church.

The message I want to leave with you today is: you no longer have to mourn or struggle to roll that stone uphill for you have a God who knows your condition and has conquered death, which so often makes dry bones of our lives, and sin, our alienation from God, our aloneness that keeps us forever fearfully rolling the stone uphill.  Because of Easter, you can stop pushing that stone.  You can take your hands from it and turn with them outstretched toward God.  That’s where faith comes in; the faith that God will not let you be crushed.

Easter Blessings,

Pastor Ray Wittman

Last Published: April 19, 2017 2:49 PM
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