Living as an Easter People
I just came back from a retreat filled with love, laughter, hope, and joy. Absolute joy. All the struggles from the last year are producing incredible fruit that never would have come so quickly without it.
It has been hard to see the divisions that have come from this time of extreme stress. It’s not a surprise. Tragedy brings out the best and the worst in all of us. This time it’s on a global scale which makes it feel insurmountable sometimes. But it’s not. It doesn’t have to be.
We can look at empty churches and see failures and the devil laughing at his success. Or we can see that people are returning as they are able, and the ones who are gone are the ones we needed to reach better anyway.
When we started our bathroom remodel six months ago, I asked if we would finish by the end of the month. Our remodeler friend just laughed at me. “You never know what you’re dealing with until you look below the surface.”
He was right.
The wastewater pipes in the foundation were an absolute disaster. They were broken when the house was built, and, eventually, there were going to be some very expensive problems. Just when we thought it was over, they thought of another place where the pipes could have broken. They were always broken. But it was good that each one had been exposed, as painful as it was.
You can’t fix what you don’t know is broken.
We are in the time of resurrection in so many ways right now. We are in the midst of the Easter season, and we are quickly coming to Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles. Through that Spirit, they were able to do miracles and wonders. Just listen to our readings each week. They are crazy! There are healings, bringing people to life, prison breaks by angels, and confidence and immense joy, even after being beaten within an inch of their lives and thrown into prison.
This is our calling as an Easter people - to live lives full of joy, confidence, love, peace, and an uncontainable faith, just as the apostles did, no matter the circumstances.
How am I living that out right now?
I’m trying to look with joy at the people I see each day. I am trying to be grateful for the little ways people show love, and doing what I can to show love in little ways all day long. I am looking at the people who are showing up, and not complaining about those who are not. I am accepting the challenge to reach out with compassion and trying to share a message that is hard to resist.
We’ve had a year of agony and darkness, but we’ve also had a year of joy and blessing. We are an Easter people, which means we exist in both worlds, but we reside in the one filled with hope and new life. Who’s in?