Everyone enjoys the many traditions that come with Easter Sunday. This year seemed to be one of the best from my view, as days and days of rain gave way to a full week of sunshine. Our Egg-stravaganza on Saturday saw the quest for over a hundred hidden eggs in our Courtyard by eager children arriving to engage in the hunt. And – this year’s event culminated in the coloring of Director of Youth and Family Ministries Keith Calara’s bald head, making him out to be a “living Easter egg!” We even hid him in the bushes to be discovered by the children who participated in the ceremonial painting just outside the doors of our Franklin Street entrance. Then, on Sunday, I experienced all three Easter services from a record crowd at Tulocay cemetery’s Sunrise Service to the Fusion Worship Experience at 11:00. Then on to an afternoon with family and friends at the parsonage as we gathered for a homemade four-course dinner featuring rack of lamb as the entree – all prepared by our visiting son and his girlfriend!
But the real news of Easter isn’t about all the external ways we celebrate the holiday. It is about a message that provokes an internal, spiritual transformation. Perhaps Paul said it best when, writing his second letter to the church at Corinth, he said: “From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view. We know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:16-20, NRSV).
During these six weeks of Eastertide, why not take Paul’s spiritual message to heart? With whom are you in need of reconciliation? If, indeed, we are reconciled to God, can we hold grudges against a sister or brother any longer? If we are, indeed, ambassadors for Christ, how can we be about that message if we are not truly reconciled with our brothers and sisters? Pray the Spirit gives you courage to make the first gesture toward that friend or acquaintance from whom you’ve become alienated. Remember, it’s not about who’s right and who’s wrong. It’s all about whether your words and actions are governed by fear or love. Perfect love casts out all fear. Love trumps fear. Easter isn’t just a Sunday!
– Pastor Lee Neish
Scripture quotation from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.