My 40th Spiritual Birthday

I walked into a church for the first time in my life on Easter morning 40 years ago. I’d never before heard the words “He is risen” or the traditional response “He is risen indeed!” much less said them. As I spoke those words I sensed that my life would be Resurrectionchanged forever. Mark Twain said the two most important days of your life are “the day you’re born and the day you find out why.” Easter 1976 was the day I found out why.

Is the Easter story your story? Or is it just Jesus’ story? Faith, real faith, is not a spectator sport. It’s up-to-your-cleats-in-the-mud participation. Jesus’ prayer for his followers–the reason He died and rose again–was “so that they may be one, as we (He and the Father) are one…so that the world may know.” (John 17:22-23)  People need to see Easter in us!

Do others catch fire when they stand too close to you? If not, check to see if your Pilot light is out. 2 Corinthians 13:5 says, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ is in you?”

This morning I had the privilege of leading a group of followers in my favorite variation on that traditional Easter greeting:

glorioussunriseandmanworshiping1“He is risen.”

“He is risen in me!”


About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Culture, For Pastors and Teachers, Religion/Faith and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to My 40th Spiritual Birthday

  1. stephbradburn says:

    He has risen indeed!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ufuomaee says:

    Happy Birthday!!! Nice piece 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. brujsims says:

    Very well said. Our faith in Christ should be as contagious as any wildfire.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. brujsims says:

    Reblogged this on Using God's Word in Everyday Life and commented:
    The Easter story is more than just Jesus’s story. It is also a story of us and how we were given a second lease on life by the One who took upon Himself the fate that was due to all of us because of our sins. Our response to this should be more than just giving thanks but acting on our faith in our daily lives so that others too may be as we are in Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great Easter blessing! Thank you for sharing your walk of faith!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy Easter, Mitch… Happy 40th Spiritual Birthday, too! I do believe in God and respect churchgoing folks… even though I, personally, am not into organized services. The most structure I need is to meditate somewhere “far from the madding crowd”. From Thomas Gray’s poem – Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, 1751: “Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife…Their sober wishes never learn’d to stray… Along the cool sequester’d vale of life… They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.” I have oft wished that it were possible to go back in time to have actually been an eyewitness to the resurrection… not that I’m a doubting Thomas… no… far from it. You see… it was 13 Easters ago when I had my religious beliefs strengthened (that must make today my 13th Spiritual Birthday?). Well, in the months leading up to Holy Week, 2003, my 89-year-old mom had been seriously ill… not expected to recover. I believe it was Divine Intervention, which had spared her so much suffering. Upon my deeper reflection… even to this very day… this never fails to instill a sense of awe within me. Mom’s peaceful death reminds me of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ description: “…one of the million lights in a vast sky that flares up for a brief moment only to disappear into the endless night forever.”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. claire says:

    Happy birthday! And yes “the day you find out why!”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That is awesome Mitch… Two great reasons to CELEBRATE! For me it was Dec. 28, 1975… What a difference HE has made in my life! He is risen indeed!!! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. oneta hayes says:

    And He is Risen in Me also. I’m so thankful for people who know the truth of the resurrected Christ. I also taught a class this morning in which we discussed seeing Jesus in others, as Jesus reminded the disciples that when they saw him (Jesus) they were seeing the Father. We considered the question, “Do they see Jesus in me?” And most of us acknowledged that we did know people in whom we can see the Spirit of Christ.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. You packed a powerful message in that little post! I loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. says:

    And in me!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I won’t get the words right, but my dad used to quote a prayer of Martin Luther’s, “when I wash my face in the morning, let me remember my baptism.”
    Your post reminded me of that. If we keep its meaning in our hearts, every morning can be a little Easter for us.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Happy Re-Birthday, Mitch. I share the same spiritual birthday season with you. Mine was Passover/Easter 1981. That year Passover and the Feast of Resurrection coincided. Unforgettable! So grateful for His amazing grace.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. God bless you brother! He is risen! He is risen indeed!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Nancy Ruegg says:

    A meaningful, inspiring post, Mitch! My spiritual birthday is also in March. As a young child I heard the crucifixion story and decided if Jesus loved me and was willing to die so that I could have eternal life, why would I say “no?” I have never regretted the decision. Jesus has been a source of wisdom, peace, and joy–just to mention a few ways he positively impacts my life. Easter is my story!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Laura Grace says:

    True! Great message!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. calico1948 says:

    Thank you Mitch, He has risen in me too.

    Happy Re-Birthday

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Congrats! Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Pingback: Welcome to Church: No Luggage Required! | Mitch Teemley

  20. mitchteemley says:

    Reblogged this on Mitch Teemley and commented:

    41 years. Tomorrow I get to say again the words that changed my life.


  21. Got to reblog this one, Mitch. Happy spiritual birthday and have a blessed Easter celebration of our risen Lord!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Awesome testimony, Mitch!
    I went to church for the first time as a follower of Christ 36 years ago this Easter. Like you, I was oblivious to the ways of church.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Wow. Great words. Have a blessed day, Mitch. (I need to go check my pilot light)

    Liked by 1 person

  24. boompawolf says:

    Reblogged this on disue.


  25. Reblogged this on 4th Quarter Musings and commented:
    My friend and brother in Christ has given me good words again. This Easter marks the 40th anniversary of his rebirth … remember? “You must be born again!” While he is marking his 40th spiritual birthday, many this weekend are being reminded of the simplicity of the faith and the wonderful grace of Jesus in dying for all our sins. Rest in His grace this weekend and celebrate the hope that all believers have because He rose from the grave! Happy Birthday, MItch!


  26. jrusoloward says:

    Thank you for sharing. He is risen!


  27. Pingback: Welcome to Church: No Luggage Required | Mitch Teemley

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