After visiting my parents, we spent a few days at my mother-in-law's home up in eastern Arkansas. It's a land of rice fields and ducks unlimited decals and food like this -
I hadn't had fried okra and fried squash and fried green tomatoes in a month of Sundays. But the dear lady who birthed my wife slaved over a hot stove to provide this gift for me and mine. Yes, the Lord is good and his mercies endure forever.
Each morning I brewed a pot of coffee. Now I brought along my own brand and I realize that indicates a refusal to fully enter the experience of my people, but such are my flaws. I did not, however, bring along my own coffee mug. I borrowed one that looked like this -
If you look closely, you'll see that this was none other than the Miracle of the Resurrection coffee mug. As the mug sits empty, you see a rock-hewn wall with people milling around and a big, black blob in the middle. But, drum roll please, when you add hot coffee to this marvel, the big, black blob suddenly disappears to reveal someone standing on top of the rocks with outstretched arms, an oxyclean white robe, and a smile. Yep, you guessed it. It's Jesus. It was like magic or something. My kids said wow, that's cool; a phrase I'm sure those first witnesses used as well.
As you drink your coffee and the mug gradually cools, Jesus goes away. The way to get Jesus back? Filleth thy mug yet again.
The first morning, I thought the Miracle of the Resurrection mug to be a little silly. But as the days rolled by, I thought it a little less silly and a lot more sound. [Here's comes a homily/sermon deal, so if you want to check the status of your stuff on eBay or download the latest from that cute Carrie Underwood, then go in peace.] Each morning, as I drank my own brand of coffee in that mug, Jesus rose again in a strange, white pottery kind of way. It reminded me of what my friend Brennan Manning refers to as the "present risen-ness" of Christ. The miracle of the resurrection is not just some past event that we can celebrate once a year and then move on; no, it's a present reality, something that is true each new day. I'm afraid most of us don't think about that enough, this "present risen-ness" of Christ. We'd be well served to have some icon in our lives to remind us of that truth, maybe something like the Miracle of the Resurrection mug. It just might help believers to utter those three all-important words a little more often: wow, that's cool.