I just had a friend send me a video from her former pastor’s Easter sermon which was titled, “What Now?” That seems to me a curious question and one worth asking on the heels of the great Easter celebration. What do you do after the big day? I know for church staff we all breathe a sigh of relief that we survived another one and move back to the routine of church work. I would think it wouldn’t be that much different really for any of us. Like much of our life we celebrate the big events but fail to make the connection to the rest of our lives. It is much like the attitude of surviving the work week so that we can live for the weekends. Such living misses the whole point. The gift of eternity is not just about Jesus dying and rising so that we can hedge our bets against death having the final word. It is more about Jesus dying so that we might live right now today. Eternity begins when we realize that such sacrificial love begins when we receive it and begin to follow its lead, right now, today. To reduce it to a one day celebration without realizing the everyday reality is to pretty much miss the whole point. Each Sunday we gather as the church is a mini-Easter as we realize the ongoing effect of such news for the purpose of living. The what now is to realize the gift is ours today, right now and by receiving it as such changes everything about who we are and how we live. Faith is about trusting the resurrecting work of God in Christ led by the Holy Spirit in this present moment. Free from the fear of death we are now invited to live full, whole, redeemed, complete, with great joy and celebration every day.
When you realize the love behind the gift of Easter such love is ours in each moment of living. As such we are transformed with an Easter meaning that permeates everything about who we are and how we live. Jesus said it in John 15:11, “I have told you this that might joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” The great joy that was a part of the women’s experience at the empty tomb now becomes ours for the taking in every breath we take. God has given the gift in Christ and brings its fulfillment through the work of the Holy Spirit in each of us as we joyfully follow God’s lead in such loving and living. My prayer for each of us is that we are living into and out of the Easter mystery in the moments we are blessed to live. Joy should be at the heart of such living. For you see, my friends, we have nothing to fear.
I will see you on the road,
I John 3:1