Easter thoughts and feelings...

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( Jeffrey S. Bowman, all rights reserved, use by permission only)

The following was an email I sent to my family and friends.  Afterwards I thought, "why not post it here?"  So here it is:

Easter 2004:

The sun has risen just as the Son did 2000 years ago. As I look back it is somewhat strange that for the first time since 1970 I'm not going into a building to worship God on Easter. Since 1973 Judy and I have been with each other in a building on Easter. Since 1977 we've been with our children in a building on Easter. By my count I've preached on 19 Easters with the last 10 consecutively. Those Easters were good Easters, forever burned into my memory banks -- times of joy, victory, excitement and family. Easter power in sermons, Easter hope in life and Easter fun with the kids hunting Easter eggs. Easter food gladly eaten and Easter celebration all around.

On this Easter in a way I could have never dreamed, I'm with Judy celebrating the Resurrection of the Body by being outdoors -- nude. Not sitting in a building but enjoying the tabernacle of God contained in the sky & sun. I look to the majestic mountains and see God's handiwork. I view the human form and see the pinnacle of God's creation -- the body. In resurrection God puts His value on the human form. The body isn't some unneeded shell that one day we'll simply discard as we go into eternity. By the resurrection of Jesus, God forever establishes (if we hadn't already noticed) the value of our bodies. Our bodies ARE us. We are the skin, bones, muscles and fibers that we frequently view with disgust and shame. Sure we abuse, hurt and exploit His image, but it still remains His image -- our bodies: US.

One day when our bodies give out or the "life" is taken from us, we will sleep in Jesus in the anticipation of that glorious day of our Resurrection. We'll stand, and face our Maker. We'll face our maker as Job said: "in my flesh I shall see God." (Job 19:26). We'll all stand and give an account to God for our lives. This judgment will be US, our bodies, ourselves.

This Easter I'm celebrating LIFE. This Easter I'm allowing my whole body to be baptized by the elements of water, sun and wind. This Easter I'm with my wife and our guests talking, laughing and crying as we share with each other LIFE. This Easter I'll be blessed to touch my fellow beings with a touch of blessing as a massage therapist. This Easter, is actually just like all others in my life, celebrating the LIFE of God and the power of resurrection. But for me, in a new and equally powerful way -- deeply acknowledging that while I'm under the tabernacle of the sky & sun -- I (my body -- my being) am the temple of the Living God. As Jesus said: "Destroy this temple and in three days, I will raise it up." One day I'll be raised too!

Happy Easter to all,

Jeff & Judy