Thursday, March 20, 2008
Well okay, given that Easter is as early this year as it ever can be and that I've already seen TV footage of children in winter gear running across snowy fields to scoop up those brightly colored plastic eggs; it's not exactly spring so it will be a little different this year. I've just read that the last time Easter was this early was 1913 and the next time won't be until 2228. So enjoy those eggs in the snow, it may well be a once in a lifetime experience! But, whenever it is observed, Easter is a time of tradition.
My family will start the day with the egg hunt in the house that will hold the clues as to where the Easter baskets are hidden. We'll dress for church and my daughter will put on her new dress, and I will have to convince my son to not wear sweat pants and a t- shirt to church this morning because it is Easter and he looks so nice dressed up. We'll have egg casseroles at the church breakfast and the children will sing. We'll enter the sanctuary permeated from the scent of many Easter lilies on the platform. We will sing "Christ the Lord is risen today" with great exuberance and hear again of Christ's resurrection. We'll then go home, have an Easter dinner and then, Easter Sunday will be over. And the next day will be Monday.
This is the way it has been, with minor variations, for many years. It's good. It's comfortable. It's traditional. And by the next Sunday, all that will remain will be a few jelly beans and some very hard yellow peeps.
We've done Easter most of our lives.
We know the story and appreciate the demonstration of God's power.
Yet, I live as though Easter is just another holiday to observe and then I cross it off the calender and go on with my life; my day after day after busy day life. Is it because the wrappings of life, the concerns, conflicts, and crises of my days have wound themselves around my spirit as tightly as the linen strips that bound the body of Christ, and my spirit is just as dead?
I expect no Easter.
That was then, this is now.
This is life and it's busy and complicated and hard and this is just how it is.
So when Easter comes, I can hide eggs and sing glorious hymns, but I can no more raise my soul to new life than one can walk out of the grave. I can try to be more positive, more loving, more faithful and compassionate: I can even try to be more prayerful and more attentive to God's voice.
Yet the power of the resurrection does not lay in me but belongs to God.
Only He can truly give new life to my heart.
It is He that even must give me the desire for new life:"For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him." ( Philippians 2: 13)
"Lord, my life has taken over my heart and my love and relationship with you. I sing the hymns but I don't talk to the Savior. I know the words, but I've lost the meaning. I came to the cross because I needed You. Your redemption of my heart produced such joy and love in me. I'm so busy living my life and caring for all that you've given me but along the way, I no longer hear your voice, my heart no longer beats with the passion it once did for you. I hear you say "Come and talk with me" (psalms 27:8) but I do not respond "Lord, I am coming" for there are too many things that keep me from you. Release me from the cares of my life that keep my heart cold towards you and give me new life that revels in communion with you."
And to you, those who will read this and find yourself also in need of resurrection: "Now may the God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, equip you will all our need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, all that is pleasing to him. " Hebrews 13:20,21
And may Monday find you with new life.