On Easter morning, we wake up early and get dressed in pretty, pastel colors. We eat big, elaborate brunches and search for colored eggs in the now green grass. We stand together in our churches, filled with fragrant flowers and adorned with white and gold. We proclaim “He is Risen! He is Risen indeed!” And we believe it.
But do I live it? What does Easter Sunday mean for me and the way I live my life?
God became human to do the unimaginable for all of humankind… because God loves us. God loves me in spite of my brokenness, and through no effort of my own I am gifted with forgiveness and eternal life. The only natural response to this kind of love is to love others! The recognition of God’s love and showing that love to others should be inseparable.
But God – sometimes it is really hard to love my neighbor!!! Too often, to love like Christ seems outside of our human ability; it might require us to love someone who seems unlovable, or resist prevailing economic or social structures. So we resist God’s command to love. Perhaps like Jesus on the cross, we cry out to God: Why have you forsaken me? Why does your command to love require that I give so much of myself?!
So, how do we understand the love we are asked to give, and then how do we find the courage to give that love to others?
An impossible task becomes possible when we recognize that the Spirit lives in and among us, empowering courage and action. The sacrificial love of Christ dwelling within us will gradually transform us to take risks and radically love ALL people!
We seek God’s presence through community, prayer and scripture. In community, we listen together to God’s guidance, we discern as community and then support one another as we live out our faith in the world. In prayer, we speak – but more importantly we listen. In Scripture, the words in a book allow for living relationship when the presence of Spirit is applied to old words. We recognize God’s presence, then we trust that God will guide us to live in a way that responds to the tremendous love we’ve received!
Yes, Jesus died and God loves deeply! This, amidst our deviled eggs and Easter candy, is what we remember on this day. This is where we place our trust daily as we step forward in life, reflecting the great love which was shown to us to ALL we meet!