Some years ago, Joseph Campbell burst on the scene with his groundbreaking work on how we attach meaning to our lives, The Power of Myth. I know that many folk get thrown off by the term “myth,” interpreting it as a synonym for “fairy tale.” But the technical definition of a myth is that it serves as a means by which interpret our existence. In that book Campbell bemoans those who live what he calls “wasteland lives” because of how they have found no overarching story (my term) for connecting their everyday life to some higher purpose. Perhaps you know of some people who muddle through life in that way. Maybe you know of someone who looks a lot like you in that respect.
The good news of the gospel is that Jesus came to deliver us from a “wasteland” existence. His purpose was to infuse each day with more meaning that might imagine. Just look at the people who lined up behind Jesus and notice how their lives were marked with matchless purpose. Look at the impact Jesus had on those people and how after encountering him, their lives were never again the same. Now, imagine what Jesus might do for you if only you would open your life to his powerful presence.
Our worship this Sunday will focus on Jesus’ promise to bless us with abundant life. That doesn’t mean that we won’t have setbacks or come across roadblocks in the course of our everyday life. But it does mean that when those times come, we won’t be derailed by them either. We’ll see our lives in the context of a larger purpose, and that larger purpose will lift us out of the despair and disillusionment these setbacks always want to create so that nothing or no one will be able to rob us of our joy.
So, join us this Sunday as we call upon Jesus and celebrate the life more abundant he gives to those who look to him in faith. Come expecting to be lifted from whatever has you down and to leave ready to bear witness to the difference your faith in Jesus makes in your everyday experience. There’s no reason for anyone to be confined to the “wasteland.” Human existence started in a garden (Genesis) and will wind up in the same sort of place (Revelation). In the meantime, our faith in Jesus transforms our otherwise mundane moments into holy ones and enables us to know what is necessary to enjoy a more productive life, one that not only brings blessings our way but also to those who are drawn in our direction so that they too might know all that Jesus makes possible in us.