Rising to New Life
I remember standing at the door with my infant daughter as my mother, who had been with me for a week, left to return home. My husband was back at work, and everyone was returning to their normal lives and mine was anything but. I had never been a mother before, and there were no manuals, Instagram feeds, or blog posts to follow. Even if there had been, I’m sure I would never have felt like I could measure up. I had no idea how I was supposed to handle this new life I held in my arms nor what my own life would look like either.
I started slowly, carefully, and I gradually realized that I was more capable than I thought. I could take care of her basic needs, enjoy my time with her, and this new life I was living was filled with moments of wonder, joy, and adventure. There were also plenty of times filled with stress, worry, and exhaustion, but those were only temporary.
I think of this time as we begin the season of Easter. It’s so tempting to let the story end on Easter Sunday and move back into our normal lives. Lent is finished, candy and coffee are back in our diets, and Jesus is Risen. Hallelujah.
Think about it. The story doesn’t end there. It’s just beginning. Jesus rises and stays for forty days to help His followers understand what just happened. He leads them through the scriptures, and helps them to see how their lives are going to change. Fifty days after the Resurrection, the Holy Spirit comes upon them and they step into the new life they have been given. There are moments of wonder, joy, and adventure, and plenty of difficulties. In the end, the difficulties are only temporary and filled with grace that turns them into blessings.
It’s not so different with us. If we have really encountered Christ, we will be changed. Our lives will be different. It can be overwhelming. It can be frightening. It can be confusing. As we celebrate the fifty days of the Easter season, we will see how the apostles lived a life filled with the Holy Spirit as the readings for each day go through the Acts of the Apostles. We will see how they took on challenges and reached out to the world. We will see how God guided them, corrected them, and protected them.
We are headed to Pentecost. Read along and prepare yourself for the life Jesus has for you. Lent is a season of sacrifice and penance. This is a season of joy and grace. Don’t miss out on it.