Happy Easter weekend, friends! Lent is almost over – you are SO close to indulging yourselves in chocolate, Netflix, or whatever else you may have chosen to give up.
I’m hoping I can keep giving up what I chose: fear.
The same way JOY should always be capitalized, fear should always be written small. Because it is the devil’s sneaky, terrible, no-good very-bad way of running and limiting our lives.
As I have said before, I process life through writing. I’ve always done it, its been more recently that I have made it public. *panic*
The other day I wrote this about the fight against fear:
I want to be a total optimist. About God, people, life, the world. It is really hard. I think I’m somewhat bent towards cynicism and pessimism naturally. It has been a journey and a fight to hope and to find JOY.
That is what changed everything. The search for JOY. I read this book my junior year of college, One Thousand Gifts, where she kept a gratitude journal and it changed everything. It changed everything for me, too. A good friend wrote me at that same time and shared that she was really struggling. So we said, “Hey, why not? Let’s start counting some gifts ourselves.” Not only did this bond a lifelong friendship, it transformed our outlooks on life. Things change when you stop counting all the things going wrong and start listing the beauty all around.
So here we are at Easter. The biggest celebration of the Christian year. (Get your stupid chocolate bunny behind me, satan.)
Every year I think to myself, One day a year we exclaim the beautiful truth: He is Risen! But this should be an everyday celebration.
One of my favorite quotes I used for my thesis was this from N.T. Wright: “Is it any wonder people find it hard to believe in the resurrection of Jesus if we don’t throw our hats in the air?”
Easter is an every day celebration – a daily party that Jesus not only died for our salvation but lived again so that we can too. That is the gospel – it is made complete by the Resurrection. It is what sets Christianity apart from every other religion. Jesus rose again – He is still alive.
Christ has died (past tense), Christ is risen (present tense), Christ will come again (future tense). It is a beautiful story that we are still in the middle of.
For goodness sakes, Christ followers – get a little excited!
I tend to think that if we could live as JOYful, celebrating, worshipful Easter people – constantly in awe of the fact that HE.IS.RISEN, the rest of the world wouldn’t be able to help but notice, and maybe (just maybe) want to be invited to the party. (which you are, by the way – He died and rose again once and for all).
I want to be an Easter person. I want to constantly be throwing my hat in the air and remembering that He is alive, and that means I am too. That means constantly searching for JOY and giving up fear.
We can live as new creations because Jesus spoke that identity over us through His victory over the grave. We are resurrected selves, new creations – children of Easter. Let’s throw a party, shall we?