Monday, April 21, 2014

Emphasizing Easter - He Is Risen, Indeed.

We really ramped up Easter at our home this year. My wife made an Easter tree with fifteen activity eggs. Each exercise brought us closer to the world-shaking reality of the resurrection. (He is risen, indeed.) We hosted a dance party. We watched Rise of the Guardians. We dyed eggs and lit fires. We plastered our wall with images of joy and spring, empty tombs and holy crosses. We gave flowers to a neighbor and bought flip flops for the girls. We shut off our home's artificial lights at sundown on Good Friday and lived by the glow of oils lamp until the sun rose on Easter Sunday.


(He is risen, indeed.) 

Because Resurrection Sunday marks the turning point of history - where death was conquered, sin defeated, and the Son of God vindicated - my wife and I felt compelled to give Easter its due. 

This festive spirit is contagious. So I invited my church to join the celebration by looking for signs of the Easter story in everyday life. I called it #EasterGRAM, asking them to text or email photos of Death (e.g., road kill, tombstone, obituary, rust), Longing (budding trees, holding breath, bandage, baking food) or Life (baby photos, people laughing, playing, flowers). These #EasterGRAM searches aimed to awaken our senses to the glory of the gospel on our streets, in our homes, and ever shouting from the heavens (Ps. 19:1). 

When Christians learn to search for pointers of God in our midst, we embody resurrection. We shake off the gloomy caricature that paints Christians as legalistic prudes or moralistic martyrs. The has sun set on the Day of Atonement; God has rent the veil and broken down the dividing wall. Jesus rose on Easter Sunday (indeed), and with Him a new and living hope (Hebrews 1:1-4; 6:19-20; 10:20).

Thus, we should heed the words of Pope John Paul II: "Do not abandon yourselves to despair; we are the Easter people and Hallelujah is our song."

He is risen, indeed.

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