Embracing Joy Beyond Easter

Embracing Love Even in a World Crisis

Embracing Joy! - A Studio 1-37 Original Image

Embracing might seem like an idea of the past in our new world of social distancing. But embracing is much more than the physical clasping and pressing of another in a hug. Willingly accepting someone or something through love into our life and soul brings the indescribable and glorious gift of joy. When we embrace love, joy bubbles up in an overflowing abundance. But occasionally as time passes that joy fades as we allow the routines and problems of life to get in the way. Therefore, we need a reminder of just why it is important to embrace love. There is no greater love seen than the love that the gift of salvation brings. This allows the embracing of joy to carry far beyond Easter and into every day.

We are in the season of Eastertide, a celebration of embracing the proclamation of Easter. This proclamation is embracing life itself with the risen Savior. But now it is the week after Easter, and the celebratory atmosphere is fading. We want to lean into the hope that this new life brings. But life and the problems of the world haven’t changed. This sometimes causes the initial joy to fade and perhaps if we are honest maybe the doubts of a new life begin to wiggle in the bottoms of our minds. We hear the words, “Christ is Alive!” but ask, “Now what?” How do we keep the joy of salvation breathing and spilling over beyond Easter day?

Joy found in Hidden Things

Did you hold an Easter egg hunt for your quarantined family? Originally egg hunts were held after Easter as part of the Eastertide celebration to keep the festivities continuing. It is said that Protestant Christian Reformer, Martin Luther, hid colored eggs during the Eastertide celebrations that the women and children of his church could hunt. The symbolism was to discover the hidden joy that Mary Magdalene found upon learning that Christ had risen. This egg hunt was a way of looking for the elations of life to find the hope offered through the joy of discovery. Like the finder of a beautifully decorated egg, we too, need to come and seek the real hope of life every day.

This past weekend, I watched several documentaries on archeological findings that offer proof that the stories of the Bible did happen. It is fascinating to see the Bible come alive through these very real and tangible discoveries. These finds are the ultimate, “come and see,” that gives concrete evidence that the hand of a Creator God exists. People of faith are embracing these discoveries for more than the ability to meet evolutionary and atheist scientists on their ground. Because we, too, want something tangible to help bolster our confidence in our faith and this found evidence gives us something real to embrace.

Come and See for Yourself

Jesus knows that faith is a combination of a blessing and a miracle. He says in John 20:29 that Thomas believes because he sees but that others will be blessed for their faith in the things they can’t see. Faith in the risen Savior brings both salvation and the promise of a day when perfect justice and a problem-free world reign. This is the hope of eternal life and it is this hope that allows us to continue to hold the joy of Easter every day. For those that dare to “come and see” realize that the resurrection lives clearly and strongly. By embracing this knowledge, believers faithfully serve God through resolving conflicts, healing hurts, confronting, rebuilding, or even just waiting; for it, all is accomplished with the joy of God who will return one day with His reward!

You love Him even though you have never seen Him. Though you do not see Him now, you trust Him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.

1Peter 1:8 (NLT)

Sometimes, we, like Thomas want to “come and see.” We long to embrace Jesus, to see, touch, and hear His words. Embracing the physical presence of Jesus would give us tremendous joy but it wouldn’t work well for everyone at the same time, so God’s plan is wiser. God doesn’t limit Himself to one physical body because He wants to be present with us always. This is accomplished with us now for He is with each of us through the Holy Spirit. We can each embrace His presence by talking to Him and finding His words on the pages of the Bible without long lines or crowds of people. He is as real to us as He was to Thomas if we will come and seek Him.

Can Doubting Create a Deeper Faith?

If we want the joy of the resurrection to permeate our very beings, then we should know it is ok to doubt. But doubt must be followed by coming and seeking Him out. Doubt leads to questions that lead to answers if we refuse to allow prideful stubbornness to get in our way and harm our faith. But when we continue to “come and see” Him, even in doubt, our faith deepens. As we search for faith answers, like those beautifully decorated and hidden Easter eggs, true joy is revealed.

By embracing the proof, we need in the words of the Bible and through the testimony of other believers, our faith continues to grow. A physical Christ would not make Him any more real to us and likewise, the true joy of Easter with our knowledge in the resurrection should not diminish because Easter day has passed. Easter joy holds strong and we can continue embracing the knowledge and faith we hold in Christ.

Challenge yourself to embrace the joy of the resurrection every day. Take any doubts you hold and seek answers by coming and seeing like Thomas. Hold tightly and continue to celebrate your Easter joy in the knowledge you hold and discover along life’s journey. Allow your convictions to root firmly in the scriptures and know where to find answers when doubts creep in, always being ready to “come and see.” Find your motivation to keep seeking answers putting your faith firmly in the revealed truth. Surround yourself in the comfort of knowing that joy abounds, for Christ is Alive not just on Easter Day but every day!

Happy Eastertide! Please continue to be safe and remember.

“Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10c)

Love in Christ,

E.J.

Postscript

Don’t fall for the lie that you can’t enjoy life until the problem has been resolved. In the world you have trouble, but in Me (Christ), you may have Peace—even amid a mess!

Sarah Young

Just “Come and See.”

Extra Study

John 20:24 – 29, 2 Corinthians 5:7

What are Your Thoughts?

Do you find it difficult to keep embracing the joy of Easter Sunday all year long? Have you found yourself in the position of Thomas needing to “come and see?” Share your thoughts, experiences, and successes on the sometimes difficulty of embracing the true joy of life when its problems descend causing doubts to surface.

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How God is working through your life?