Sunday, April 20, 2003
One of my responses to Christmas' "Jesus Is The Reason For The Season" is to throw back, "No, EASTER is the REAL reason for the season." All that Christmas stands for points towards God's love displayed at Calvary. On the cross, Jesus wasn't only God living as Man, but God dying as Man and then living again. In the crucifixion, we see obedience leading to pain and death. And in the resurrection, we taste the hope of victory over evil, the sweetness of restored fellowship with the Creator.
How does it play out today? We had a big crowd at church this morning. Children dressed up in new pastels. Women in hats - not something you see that often in our neck of the woods. Colorful congregation, smiling faces, joy as people greeted and hugged each other. Was it a "special" service? I don't think so - but maybe that's because we're at a point in our community & congregation where we live out more and more of this reality each week, not saving for holidays and holy days what is actually happening in our midst when we gather together.
As I read back over what I've written, I hope it doesn't come across as pride or self-delusional puffing up. I want to believe that we're growing as a local body of Christ, and that what we're beginning to resemble is the real relationship that Jesus died and lives today to restore, you know? So that's what I'm reminded of at Easter: the pain and gore of the cross, the suffering of Christ and of the disciples through the weekend, and the incredible resurrection that somehow started the process of making sense of it all.