So we finally reached Easter.
No, I mean… We finally reached Easter!!!!
So let me ask you: what’s gonna be different?
In my community, we walked through the 40 Days of Lent, carefully observing, contemplating, denying ourselves.
During Holy Week, we gathered each night to remember Jesus’ last days, and contemplated what it might mean for our lives, some 2,000 years later. Friday night we reflected through song, teaching, and then visually (through the Passion of the Christ) on his death. Friday night through Sunday we joined together in constant prayer, circling around the Stations of the Cross until, finally, we reached Sunday morning, with its empty tomb, the joyous release of energy from the community, and the celebration of the paradigm-shifting reality of the resurrection.
I think, now, we “get” (as much as possible) Lent a little better. We understand denial, understand a little of what it means to “take up our cross” and follow Jesus. This is a good thing.
But what happens next?
On the strength of some year-old conversations with some good friends, I’d like to suggest that in the same way that Lent helps us understand Jesus sacrifice on the cross, perhaps the Easter season could help us understand what it may mean to “live the resurrection,” and maybe the place to begin is through “engagement”.
If Lent is about denial, let’s let Easter be about engagement; where we ask ourself, “What do I need to deny myself?” Perhaps our question now becomes, “What resurrection activity do I need to engage in?”
To be brief, the resurrection has inaugurated, in some amazing, brilliant way, the reality of God’s kingdom now, on Earth. No need to wait on Revelation (oh but wait don’t get me started on that)! The empty tomb says that the best of what’s to come is possible now, and engagement says that we are (to borrow a phrase from NT Wright) “anticipating” this life-to-come now.
Examples? How about for these next 40 days, you…
- Engage in service by finding a place to serve the “least of these”
- Engage in slowing down by eliminating techno-clutter from your life at specific times
- Engage in prayer by setting an alarm and praying a simple prayer (maybe the one Jesus taught us) four times a day
- Engage in relational health by reaching out to a good friend for regular meals together
Don’t make it overwhelming; keep it simple. Just ask yourself, “What will life in the Kingdom look like?” and begin “practicing that life now.”
… Because, you know, the Resurrection isn’t only an event…
… It’s a lifestyle.
2 thoughts on “Next…”
Good, meaty stuff, Pastor Eric! 🙂
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