So Easter Sunday has come…and gone. Like so many others, our congregation had an absolutely wonderful Easter celebration. The choirs, musicians, flowers, banners and pews filled with God’s people made the day truly memorable. The women and young ladies all came in their new Easter dresses. The men were dressed in their Sunday best. Extended families gathered with friends and several people new to our community and we all worshiped and gave thanks to God for the gift of salvation through His Son Jesus. Yes, our Easter celebration, like yours I’m sure, was beautiful and spiritually invigorating. So now what?
Today is the day after. For so many, the Easter dresses have been put in the closet. Men have returned their Sunday best to the hanger. Even as the fifty day Easter festival is just beginning, horns are in their cases, hand bells packed away and the covers have been put back on the tympani’s. It’s Monday, and except for many clergy members (including yours truly) most have returned to work and resumed their daily struggle against the world. Naturally, the question begs to be asked; Has Easter made a difference? Does Jesus’ resurrection still impact you in your struggle against the world?
It happened just as Jesus said it would. God kept his promise to redeem his people, in fact, God is still keeping it. Every day, God acts to save those who have wandered from his grace. Through his life, death and resurrection, Jesus brings forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life to all who believe. Even as the troubles and worries of earthly life weigh on the hearts of people, God’s promise of salvation and life in his kingdom are true and eternal.
Today, God’s people find themselves once again walking along the Emmaus road. We are still imperfect people with minds filled with doubts and hearts burdened with fear. We still live in a fallen and broken world where bad things happen even to good people. Yet, in our conversations concerning Christ Jesus, our life together as God’s people, we are reminded through Holy Scripture that Jesus is indeed alive. As we walk the Emmaus road, living and learning the way of salvation, Christ walks with us. The good news of Jesus’ resurrection and victory over the grave gives hope to a world hungering and thirsting for God’s redemption.
Jesus makes himself known in so many ways; through the loving hands of someone providing food to the hungry, in the comfort of shelter provided to a homeless person, and through the presence of a loved one who consoles those who mourn. Jesus makes his presence known to the Church and to the world in his teaching, through his example of servitude, and most especially through the breaking of bread and pouring of wine at God’s table of grace.
Yes, the annual Easter events in our churches and families are concluded for another year. Yet, the hope and joy of Easter lives on in the hearts and minds of God’s people. Because Christ lives, every day is an Easter day for God’s people. Every day is filled with the promises of God’s mercy and grace. As we continue in our struggle against a fallen world, I pray the hearts of God’s people are burning with the hope and joy of Easter. May we all live in God’s grace and continue to proclaim the good news. Christ is risen, he is risen indeed!