Today is a reminder not only of the conquering of life over death, but of an opportunity of personal renewal for each of us. The message of Easter is more than the just the physical resurrection of Christ Jesus, but one of hope and spiritual renewal for each of us. It is the assurance that each of us has the opportunity to live a life of peace and comfort, on a spiritual level, if we choose to accept it, and develop a personal daily relationship with God.
The Gift of Easter is not material wealth, or some assurance that you are shielded from the difficulties of life that everyone else must face. It is the knowledge that there is Someone beside you through both the good and bad things that life throws at each one of us.
Life is in session 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, for each and every one of us. There is nothing that happens to us, good or bad, that hasn’t happened to others. Though each of us like to see themselves as “terminally unique”. That the problems or pain we face are unique. Thus, we are destined to face our challenges alone. The truth is that we share our experiences, good and bad, with countless others. The good news is that we have the opportunity, on a daily basis, to renew our relationship with God. We don’t have to face life alone.
My experience is that, when I am actively seeking and maintaining a relationship with God, I experience a lot more things, what some would call “coincidences”, and what I call “God experiences”, which show me the path I should take. They come in the form of random meetings with people, an unexpected phone call, and countless other things.
I celebrate the resurrection of Christ precisely because it is a reminder that each day, for each one of us, is a virtual death and resurrection. We die each night and are reborn each morning, given the gift of a new day to renew our relationship with our God, our family, our friends, and others whom we are given the opportunity to meet. We have the opportunity each day - one day at a time - to be the kind of person that God wants each of us to be. Not to be recognized, or exalted to massage our egos, but to improve spiritually each day. Our spiritual well-being is contingent not only on faith, but through our actions. Being “in service” to others - daily. Giving money to charities is one way. It might even make you feel good. But I have heard it said once that “God can’t cash out-of-state checks in Heaven”. There is no replacement for action. It can be volunteering at the local food bank or homeless shelter. But, it can also be as simple as mowing the lawn for an elderly or disabled neighbor, providing transportation to the store for someone whose car has broken down. There are countless opportunities for service right in you own neighborhood. Think of how our community relationships have broken down because our views on service consist of writing a check, while there are opportunities to be in service all around us right in our own neighborhoods and towns.
The goal of these things is not to become pious, or to become spiritually perfect (an impossibility), but that we claim spiritual progress on a daily basis. To knowingly try to do what we know is the right thing to do on this day, with the knowledge that if we fail, we get right with God, to actively make amends to whomever we have hurt, be it through word or deed, and to forgive those individuals who may have wronged us, as soon as possible.
Jesus of Nazareth showed us the way. His life, death, and resurrection are a blueprint for each one of us to follow on a daily basis. Not only to love one another from afar, but that we demonstrate that love through our actions, words, and deeds.
Jesus said: “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” How much easier is it that I give each day, just a small part of my time, to those friends or strangers as a part of my daily relationship with God? Even if I fail, as I do, the lesson of the resurrection, for me, is that I have a brand new opportunity, each day, to renew my relationship with my Creator, and to try to live the life that he desires for me and for each of us.
Have a Wonderful and Blessed Easter Filled With Opportunities For Service!