This past weekend was filled with many blessings. After several months of work, our choir performed Stainer's "The Crucifixion" for our Good Friday service. When our music director first introduced us to this cantata, I wondered if we could do it justice, but with practice and God's grace, we were able to sing the Scripture filled songs. How encouraging to hear God's greatest act of passion set to music!
Then, on Saturday, we had a treat with family coming to share a meal and celebrate Easter early with us. Somehow family fellowship in Christ satisfies like nothing else can do. Watching children hunt for Easter eggs, praying together, and talking about the real reason we celebrate deepens the faith we share.
Of course, the greatest blessing came on Easter Sunday. Hearing God's Word afresh from the Book of Mark concerning the resurrection filled my heart with joy in what God has done for us. As our service of worship closed out, our music director chose to conclude with George Frederic Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" on the organ. Typically, we choir members remain seated during the Postlude, but on this day, we rose and spontaneously began to sing this song in praise to God. Many in the congregation stayed to listen or sing along with us. We all were praising the Lord for His gift of salvation. What a celebration weekend, but then, a thought occurred to me. We are meant to live like it's Easter every day! So how do we do this? Jesus gives us some direction.
As Jesus was preparing His disciples for what He was about to do, He gave them (and all of us who would follow) words of comfort and assurance so we could live in victory every day. John 14:1-3: "Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In my Father's house are many rooms, if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also." Later in verse 27 of this chapter, Jesus said: "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." In both sections, Jesus speaks words of comfort and encouragement. He reminds us to not let our hearts be troubled two times in this passage. He did this to emphasize how important it is to walk by faith and not by sight. We must trust in Him.
Likewise, we must consider that Jesus left us His peace and it is a peace that passes all understanding which will guard our hearts and minds according to the Apostle Paul (Philippians 4:7).
We need to embrace this daily and remember that Jesus told us He would come again. These are the blood bought gifts our Savior gives to those who believe in Him.
Most importantly, Jesus gave us a commission to take this wonderful news into all the world. Our world, our family, our friends, our neighbors and business associates all need to know that in Christ we can have peace, salvation, untroubled hearts and an assurance of life eternal. There is nothing to fear in this life when we are in Christ for He will never leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). As we tell others this Good News, our own faith grows and it becomes Easter all over again as we touch another life.
The glow and joy of this past weekend needs to grow into an every day occurrence. We are all meant to live like it is Easter every day! By reading His Word, prayer, walking in His promises and giving all our concerns to Him, we can experience the peace which Jesus so freely gives. We only have to believe, trust and obey Him. Holidays come and go, but the power of the resurrection needs to be lived out in our lives moment by moment. May we become Easter people living and walking in the power of God's Spirit! Selah!