Getting Back to Normal?
We are rapidly closing out the 2nd week after Easter. Are you still celebrating? Does Easter seem like something that occurred a long time ago? Have you claimed your status of belonging to the tribe of Easter People?
The focus of the news this week seems to center around how and when to get back to “normal life,” the one we were living before the COVID-19 virus ran rampant through the world. Government leaders are making some very tough decisions and ones that appear to hold no defined right or wrong answers for both good and bad things may result from either way. They certainly need our prayers. But I am not here to debate what is or is not the right way to move forward. I do question, however, whether we truly should want to “get back to normal” because maybe for Easter people, “normal” is just not the way we should be living.
Too often, when things get out of control or even just move in a new direction we long to “get back to normal.” We seek the comfort of surrounding ourselves with the “same old, same old.” This makes us feel like we are in more control. But if we are honest, most of our old comforts were not always so comfortable. There were problems with what we deemed “normal,” but we learned to live with them, work around them, and just accept them even with our gripes. But maybe, things need to change, and perhaps when we see things from a different perspective our thought patterns reverse themselves as we see things through a different light. That is what Easter brings; a new way of life, one that bursts out of the old “normal” and brings in new ways.
The Abundant Life of Easter People
Easter brings abundance to life. It is not a one and done affair, but a lasting way of life. Easter people must move from the Good Friday world we live in, to the lasting vibrating life found only through and of Easter. For Easter is of today, not some distant dim thing of the past. Easter people rejoice because “Christ the Lord has Risen Today!” and now Easter people are forever. That is the whole point of Easter, there is no more “same old” anymore.
It was pointed out to me this week that Easter people are “of” Easter. It is this preposition we need to pay attention to, the word, “of.” Christians choose to go through Lent, and we find ourselves “in” Lent. But we are only Lenten people for a short time, while we are Easter people forever. During this Easter time, we need to claim the gift of abundant life given to us. It is time to pick ourselves up and get back on the journey with God claiming and expressing our joy in who we belong to.
Easter People, Rejoice because of Love!
Easter people are called to Holy Living. It is through God’s love and forgiveness that we are free to take our eyes off ourselves and meet others’ needs. It is through Easter that we see, find, and experience sincere love. And it is through Christ’s sacrifice for our sin that we connect to God. It is through this connection that we experience a deep love for God and one another. We can only love others deeply through our relationship with God that comes from Jesus Christ.
Maybe our “normal” life before the pandemic crisis, which crosses all barriers, blinded us just a bit too much to the needs of others. Sincere love that comes from Christ involves selfless giving and when we are self-centered, we cannot genuinely love others for we get in our own way. It is only when we take our eyes off ourselves that we can help meet others’ needs. Easter people can rejoice and claim the abundant life given to us for we are free from sin and now love can flow fully through us because of Christ.
You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart.1 Peter 1:22 (NLT)
Strive to be Anything but “Normal”
Easter people are called to not be “normal.” There is a new life to be grasped because of Easter and Easter people are to love others by following Christ’s example to give of ourselves sacrificially. Genuine love calls us to move beyond polite society and just keeping our thoughts to ourselves. Deep-seated love requires our full concentration and effort, for it is not easy. Striving to love others as Christ did demands our time, money, and most importantly our involvement. But in the end, it means that not only do we become better people, but we are also part of helping other people be better too.
The actions of Easter people show others the love of Christ through what we do. It often means helping when it is not convenient or giving to others not because we have abundance but because it is right. Easter people should love others by giving their energy helping meet the needs of others. And many times, like the examples of Christ, Easter people may need to absorb the hurts dished out by others without complaining or seeking to strike back. But it is also important that Easter people realize that they are not expected to take the world on alone.
Easter Person or Easter People?
Easter people are just that, people, and not an individual. Together, Easter people, help spread Christ’s love throughout a community as the body of Christ. If the pandemic has taught us nothing else clearly Christians around the world, Easter people, have discovered that the church is not a building but a body of people! Together, as Easter people, we need to look for others who need our love and seek ways that we along with other believers can love our communities and world for Christ.
So, challenge yourself to not want to return to “normal,” or seek out the “same old, same old,” but instead look for ways that you can be part of the Easter people claiming the abundant life given to you through the love of Christ. Root your convictions firmly in the sacrificial love of Christ. Seek your motivation to love others because of all that Christ did for you. Lastly, surround yourself in the comfort of knowing that Easter is not a one and done day but is for every day and forever. Do not clamor to return to “normal” for because of Easter you are made new in the Resurrection and equipped to love like never before.
Love in Christ,
And do everything with love.1 Corinthians 16:14 (NLT)
What are your thoughts?
Are you longing to return to a “normal” life? Have you considered what being an Easter person means to you? Share your thoughts on how Easter people can create a new “normal” and consistently show the love of Christ to others through both thought and deed.