Saturday, 29 March 2008

Forgetting Easter

Another tasty morsel from the parish magazine...

Easter has been and gone. For many of us the signs are strewn around the house – Easter egg wrappers, other signs of a long weekend, or maybe hyperactive children still coming down off their sugar highs. But over time Easter will pass away and we’ll look forward to what is coming up this week, this month, for the rest of the year. This isn’t a bad thing – we can’t live lives that refuse to deal with the present and only focus on the past. But as Christians, we live present lives that are permanently affected by the past.

We have just celebrated Easter, and will do again next year, but in the days in between out lives will be affected by Easter. The Bible says that if Christ has not been raised, our faith is futile – we are still in our sins (1 Corinthians 15:17). The fact that Jesus died and rose again affects us because by believing in Jesus we are united with him – united in his death where our sins are dealt with. And united in his resurrection, where we are given new life. And it is that new life which we now live. It’s that new life which we lived on Easter Sunday, the same new life we live today, and the same new life which we’ll live sometime in October (and all the days in-between). Because we are united by faith to Jesus who has risen from the dead, our lives are now different.

That means that we don’t just ignore Easter – ticking it off as another event on the church calendar which we’ll come back to next year. We look forward to this week, this month, this year because we live each day united with Jesus in his resurrection. There is a confidence in all we do, because we know that we have been made spiritually alive. There is a purpose to our lives, because as we work on the farm, mind the children, visit the grandchildren, we do so as people who are playing a part in God’s universal plan. We do so as people who have been joined to God’s Son, the king and ruler of all we see. We do so as people who are on their way to heaven, and who are urging others to join us. For, as God says, if only for this life we have hope in Christ, then we are to be pitied more than all people (1 Corinthians 15:19).

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