“Get real or get out!” This is a slogan that is displayed in a drug rehab centre. It is direct and to the point as one would expect in a place that exists for the sole purpose of facilitating life-saving change within a person. And if you think the slogan is a bit harsh, it may be because we fail to realise that life is going to get a whole lot harsher for them if they don’t get real.
I thought it would be a good slogan for a church, after all we too are in the business of life-saving change, namely the radical business of resurrection. Yes, that is exactly the job description Jesus gave to us: “cure the sick and raise the dead” (Matt 10:8). As has been said, “Jesus did not come to make bad people good. Jesus came to make dead people alive.” [Ravi Zacharias].
Life-saving change will escape us if we do not get real, get open, get honest. Resurrection will elude us if we do not get truth-full. To be truth-full is to risk. Resurrection is therefore risky business, for in opening the tomb others may smell the stench of our decaying lives. I have a sense that we will only be truth-full to the extent that we trust that we are held in the hands of a grace-full God. This is the Good News that Jesus lived and died proclaiming — God is Grace-full. As Church we are given the joy-full responsibility to make God’s grace-full-ness known, with the hope that we will all risk realness more readily. And in doing so we get to rejoice in each other’s resurrection.
Sadly, we must admit that the Church is often more closely associated with judgment than with grace. When this is a reality we can be sure that the Church is filled with more pretence than truth, and with more death than life. So if we’re feeling stuck or even dead, it is time to get real. We have nothing to fear for we are held in the grip of God’s grace.