“Christ is Risen, He is Risen, Indeed!”

“I don’t have anything to wear!” I cried to my husband.  No one would ever accuse me of being stylish and vogue, shiny and colorful or even stunning and ravishing.  I’m all about comfort, so usually when I utter this phrase, it’s a tip off I’m nervous.

This morning, individuals from my church served breakfast, organized an Easter egg hunt and put on a short service for individuals living in a local residential hotel. The event’s purpose was to share the love of Jesus and offer a hot breakfast to those who might not have a meal today. Additionally, I was asked to give a brief message, a bit of my testimony rolled up with the story of Christ’s Resurrection’s power.

I wanted to look authentic, whatever that meant.  

Wherever you live, poverty lives down the road. We learned our breakfast attendees had been tossed and churned by life, beaten and spit out. And all too often, they blamed Jesus for their suffering. So today was a day to speak life, affirmation, truth and forgiveness into their lives.

What a difference from my childhood memories. Growing up, my family always dressed in our Easter finest. Everyone got a new outfit as we scurried off to church. Once home, we feasted on gourmet food, sat at a table that was impressive and enjoyed Easter baskets way over the top. We were probably a bit prideful, myself included.

But today was not about Easter bunnies, chocolate and delicious brunch food. This was about feasting on the true message of genuine love and faithfulness.

Christ’s death wasn’t pretty or hospitable.  It was authentic and real; offering the total gift of Himself, which resulted in our freedom. And that was the true reason why we were at this hotel.

Easter reminds us that Jesus’ life was not over when He died. He was brought back to life: to live a new life. We celebrate His death and resurrection at Easter. These events point us to the greater work of God – to the bigger, more amazing event that has happened in Jesus and what we wait for: new life promised to those who love Him.

He calls all of us to a new life, a fuller life. A rebirth, renewal, and a reawakening that is fulfilled in Christ’s resurrection.

And when I thought of it that way, I realized I’d never find an outfit that could say all that!

Philippians 4: 4 states, “Rejoice in the Lord, always. I will say it again, rejoice!” Easter is a special time of year when the earth fills with colors, textures, fragrances. It is time to celebrate new life. A time of joy.  A time to rejoice.

I gave thanks for the people who came to the breakfast. I rejoiced they put away their anger with God to enjoy a meal. I found joy in their stories – each one painful, each one poignant. And in the process, God blessed me.

Practice the ministry of presence. It only takes a few minutes to celebrate the life of another.  Who will benefit most from the gift of your time today?

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