Pastoral Reflections on How The Story Intersects and Impacts Our Story
“He is risen! He is risen indeed!”
What wonderfully glorious news we get to proclaim every Easter morning! What hope those seven words can bring to forlorn hearts on the brink of despair! To quote the Reverend Dan Smith, “Death couldn’t handle him and the grave couldn’t hold him! That’s my Jesus!” Indeed, may you find him to be your Jesus, too, in this Easter season of fifty days and well beyond.
Part of what one might call ‘Easter Living’ is found in experiencing freedom from that which has kept us bound, in some cases for many years, much like the grave clothes that bound Lazarus even after Jesus had raised him from the dead.
Over the course of Lent’s forty days, through the various Christian disciplines of fasting, prayer, meditation, almsgiving, Bible study, worship and others, many people have worked very hard at naming and then removing—by God’s grace—those destructive beliefs and bad habits about ourselves that have kept us from freedom in Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God for the hard work and passion that has led to positive change for so many. And now . . . it’s time to party!
You see, precisely because Jesus has been raised from the dead, we his followers have been freed up to risk great things in Jesus’ name. Since ‘death couldn’t handle him,’ we who trust Jesus with our very lives can be confident that death won’t be able to handle us, either. In fact, because Jesus has been raised, neither death nor life, things present nor things to come, and indeed, nothing in all creation can separate us from God’s love shown in Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 8:38-39). So may God—the same God who raised Jesus from the dead—bless and strengthen you this Easter season to do and say that which you normally wouldn’t do and say, and may God get all the glory and may God’s kingdom grow by leaps and bounds as a result. Why? Because “He is risen! He is risen indeed!” How’s THAT for a party?!?!
In His Grip,