The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. –Matthew 26:41
Jesus shared these words with His disciples after they fell asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane. They did not intend to fail Him when He asked them to stay and keep watch while He prayed, but the day had been long. Nighttime had arrived. The Passover meal filled their bellies and made them sleepy. Had they been able to escape the limitations of their bodies, staying up to pray with Jesus would have been simple. Like all Christians, however, these men had to attempt to live a spiritual life while inhabiting a decidedly vulnerable flesh.
Tune My Heart is dedicated to the challenge of living a life worthy of Christ in a body of weakness, “body of death” as Paul calls it (Romans 7:24). Eventually, Christ will deliver us from this body and its flaws, but until then, it is our act of stewardship, our act of worship to live in the flesh to the glory of God. Other sites handle lofty theological matters very well. Tune My Heart focuses on that difficulty of following Jesus while stuck in the mortal frame.
During its first years of existence, this site featured daily devotions. The first devotion to appear on this site, reprinted below, stands as a fitting introduction to our work here. Although not every post on this site will say so specifically, don’t ever doubt that at the center of this work and of every well lived life is the Jesus of the Bible, the Word become flesh. If you don’t know him, many of the ideas here will seem like foolishness.
April 11, 2004 / Read Luke 24:1-8
This changes everything. I can’t count the number of times that I have heard that sentiment, or something like it in advertisements and other communications. In reality, however, very few things that we experience in our lives truly do “change everything.” I remember two and a half years ago sleeping late on a Tuesday morning only to be awakened by a telephone call. “You have to turn on the TV,” our friend Rebecca spit out. When we followed her advice, we saw the World Trade Center towers burning. In the years since September 11, 2001, we’ve been told any number of times that the events of that day “changed everything.” But in reality, not all that much has changed. Sure, we have more stringent security at airports and we’ve plunged our young people into two wars in the wake of the September 11 attacks, but you can’t truly say that everything has changed. One hundred years from now, people will certainly remember those events as important to the unfolding history of the world, but will they be seen as “changing everything”? I rather doubt it.
In a way, of course, every little event that happens “changes everything.” That’s what they refer to as the Butterfly Effect. It’s the idea that a butterfly’s wing flapping in Virginia can set off a hurricane in Venezuela. But we’re not talking about that sort of global change. We’re talking about an utterly cataclysmic, world-altering, never-go-back kind of change. Those sorts of events remain blessedly rare. Even Noah’s flood, as far-reaching as it turned out to be, didn’t change everything. The people turned out to be largely the same–although fewer–as did the animals. Almost as soon as the last of the mud dried up, the descendants of Noah were plunged back into sin. Sin is, as it turns out, a pretty dependable constant in human behavior. If you could invest your money in the Sin Futures Market, you’d be pretty sure to die wealthy. (Come to think of it, maybe that’s what the pornographers and casino operators and many others are doing.) We have all the sin that we can handle because of one of those rare “change-everything” events. The Fall–“Man’s first disobedience,” as John Milton described it–ensured that death and sin would hold sway over mankind until something happened to set things right.
Easter represents that something. “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” the angel asked the women at the tomb. Why indeed? Those women, despite either witnessing or hearing about Lazarus’ return, expected that dead people would remain dead. It seemed a reasonable thing to them. But what they only began to understand on that blessed Sunday, was that, in paying the full penalty for every dram of human sin while hanging on that cross, Jesus had indeed changed everything.
It’s too easy for us to get swept away in an avalanche of jelly beans and familiar hymns. We can say the words without really understanding them. But when we do stop and contemplate an empty tomb seen in the first rays of a Sunday morning, we have to recognize that Easter celebrates events that changed everything. “This changes everything.” Christ is risen indeed!