I love the Lenten and Easter seasons, however, I have always found it difficult to celebrate Jesus' death and resurrection almost immediately after his birth. Maybe it is all so close together to make it more meaningful. We all fall in love with the "baby" Jesus each year at Christmas as we listen to the story of his humbly entering the earth. We become enchanted by the angels and the faith of the wise men. Then we slowly transition to his temptation in the desert and the realization that Jesus was human. At our church we are encouraged to give up something for forty days in rememberance of Jesus' fasting in the desert. In the past I have given up TV and caffine, but this year I have had so much going on that Lent just passed me by without me really realizing it. Sunday we celebrated Palm Sunday as the children of our church walked in with palm branches. My imagination goes wild as I try to picture what it must have been like that day. Last night was our Maunday Thursday service. We gathered to reflect on the Last Supper and take communion. I also like to wonder what it would have been like to have been in that room that night. The emotions of everyone, fear, hope, and love. Tonight is our Good Friday service. It is, of course, a somber service, that I always look forward to. As much as you celebrate someone's birth it is just as important to celebrate their death. Then Sunday, as we all know, is Easter. Resurrection Sunday.
Jesus is risen and He lives. In today's world it can be hard to see it or believe it sometimes, but he does. He lives in each one of us. We are called to be the light to the world, salt to the earth. Jesus is reflected in each one of us, through our deeds and through our love to one another. God is real and still performs miracles every day. I strongly and truly believe this. All you have to do is look. We all know someone who has beaten some odd, who is still living though they should have been dead, who should have needed this surgery but yet became well without it, became pregnant when they were told they never could, that should be crippled but has walked again, and I could go on and on. "The blind will see and the deaf will hear," God still does this every day. And he does it all because he loves us. He loves us all so much that he sent his only son to save us. How many of us would forfeit one of our children to save the world? We may sacrifice ourselves, but not our children. But yet God's plan was so much bigger. God's love was so much bigger. He created us all, all different cultures, all different colors of skin, all different languages. He did this, and then he gave us the most beautiful place to live, with mountains, beaches, rivers, lakes, ponds, streams, deserts, rainforest, waterfalls, etc. How can we look at this and not believe that he exists? How can we look at this and not believe that is the miracle worker? Jesus has risen so that we can live eternally with him and his father. What greater joy is this, that we shall be called the children of God? God chose us all when he created us. God made us all important with special gifts and talents to serve him and to serve one another. One of my favorite quotes from the Bible is "I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out." Luke 19:40. We should all never cease praising God. No matter how bad it gets, God has still blessed you. God is still with you. God will never forsake you. God has taken such good care of my family. He has answered every prayer and every need that we have ever had. Granted, it may not have been the answer we wanted, how fast we wanted it, or the way we would have done it, but God has always taken care of us, and he always will. God has blessed us so richly and every day I thank him. I thank him for my husband that he created to be my soul mate. I thank him for my beautiful girls that he has entrusted to Joe's and my care. I thank him that we have a roof over our heads, food to eat, jobs to go to, vehichles that take us to our jobs, friends and family that love us and support us, a church in which we can grow and serve him, and for life itself. Life is so precious. We never know what day will be our last and so we must live each day to the fullest, letting those around us know how much we love them and appreciate them, praising God and thanking him for loving us and being with us, and serving God and others.
Easter is a happy day. Easter represents new life, new beginnings, and faith restored. I wish you all a very blessed Easter and pray that you all know that Jesus died and rose for you.