Yesterday was Easter.
People were happy, smiling, posts on social media were of folks in their spring finest, smiling . . . regardless of one’s religious affiliation, Easter symbolizes spring, new life, and hope!
I’m not sure why people laughed when following the closing song I thanked them for being willing to worship at the high school.
I didn’t mean it to be funny . . . I was dead serious!
Each year since we’ve started West, I end up having major anxiety and nerves as we approach Easter.
Easter is the one day a year that many might give “church” a try.
But – on a high holy day, would you want to worship in the high school?
Yet, people came.
It was a fun day of worship and it seemed as if there was meaning and relevance throughout the worship experience.
However, I still remain paranoid because I know West does weird things.
We watched a clip from “The Avengers” where The Hulk resuscitates Iron Man.
We referenced “Pet Sematary” by Stephen King.
Hoping that by the end we would have a new understanding of what our lives can be like if we live as if we truly TRUST something rather than only believe IN something/someone. Believing IN and trusting are two different things.
Following in The Way of Christ is not about believing “IN” the person. That’s a thought that can be executed and then finished.
As someone who celebrates Easter, I am called and convicted to BELIEVE.
That means something else entirely!
To believe (as used in John 11:25-26) is to TRUST. To trust/believe means life change.
It isn’t just something I can “think” and then be done with it!
Check it off my “going to heaven” checklist.
It’s so much more.
To believe the teachings of Jesus. . .
To believe that our physical death isn’t the end . . .
To believe that the worst things aren’t the last things . . .
All these things require ME to change!
They require my living a life with experiences of the resurrection.
Not a life with experiences of resuscitation.
Resuscitation is the act of bringing something BACK to life. Restoring life to the old way.
Resurrection is the act of new life. Not a restoration of something back into what it was, but life in new form, new ways.
The guy Lazarus from the story in the book of John, he was resusciatated only to die again.
Jesus – he didn’t die again, for he gave the gift of resurrected life, which brought about life that was forever changed.
BUT – It’s the day after Easter.
The Easter dress is thrown in a pile by the door of the bedroom.
I THOUGHT about hanging it up . . . then I decided I was done, tired, and didn’t really want to mess with it anymore.
I’ll get to it later.
I wonder if sometimes that’s how we approach our faith after Easter.
We went through the season of Lent (40 days before Easter) preparing, waiting, looking within our lives seeing what needed to change in order to grow closer to God.
That’s finished now.
We had Easter.
All that “Transformation” and “new beginnings” are over now. Any implications there might be – I’ll get to them later!
But unlike the new dress, perhaps my faith journey should be changed in such a way that SOMETHING is different today.
Maybe I can live in a NEW way.
A way that embraces the possibilities of resurrection.
Although the pretty family pictures, bunnies, and SPRING things are past and life returns to normal, we have the opportunity to be changed.
This morning as I was reading in prep for a message series this summer I came across an article about emotional intelligence.
The title is “10 Truths We Forget Too Easily” by Travis Bradberry.
They are rather poignant.
It made me stop to think.
“If I believe what I preach, then today should be different. It BETTER be different. Each day I have a chance to be wiser, less stressed, less busy, more focused, more in tune with myself, and ultimately more connected to God. That is, if I live as one who embraces the possibilities that come in resurrection.”
I’ll go pick up the Easter dress now, launder it appropriately, then next time, I’ll remember . . . don’t throw it in the floor because I could “check that one off my list.” Easter faith is not something to be laid aside. It is a faith of resurrection.
I believe today is the day to embrace that change.
Message from Sunday: