April 14, 2019
by Candace Kostna, Family Ministry Coordinator
The season of Lent is winding down. For the past few weeks, our focus has been on our spiritual practices – reflection, repentance, prayer and fasting, and sacrificial giving – to bring us closer to God in preparation of Easter.
Now Holy Week is upon us. We will hear the story of Jesus’ triumphant entry to Jerusalem on a donkey, the Last Supper, his disciples’ betrayal, his arrest and ultimate death on the cross, and his resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Easter Sunday is the greatest Sunday of the church year! It is filled with song, procession and joy. We “unpack” our “alleluias” as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and the gift of new life we are given:
“Praise be the the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3
In Easter, we claim the promise of new life in Christ – through God’s great mercy, we have living hope. Easter Sunday’s celebration is just the beginning as Easter lasts more than one day. In the church year, the Easter season lasts from Easter Sunday to the Day of Pentecost. That’s 50 days! Wow!
As I write this blog, I find myself glancing out my front window. The snow is melting (finally!!) so our yard and flower beds are visible. Yay! As the weather warms up, all the snow will disappear and soon the grass will turn green. Soon my perennials will start poking up from the ground, and the trees will start sprouting new leaves.
This got me thinking. All of these signs of spring are reminders of Easter. Just as the plants sprout from the earth, Jesus rose from the dead to bring us new life. Each year, as the ground thaws and green plants emerge form the soil, we witness new life in nature: “see the winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season for singing has come”. Song of Solomon 2:11-12
Over the next few weeks, right before our eyes, we will see God making all things new. Pretty amazing!
During the 50 days of Easter, how might you and your family spring up in your new life in Christ? Perhaps…
- keep a sign of Easter (cross, flower) in a prominent place in your home
- send Easter greetings to friends & family
- for a few days make a list of things you are grateful for
- reach out to someone in need
- take a walk, pausing to notice the things you see & praise God
- keep a list of a new thing you notice each day
- plant some seedlings and watch them grow
- try to identify one place each day where you encountered Jesus
- pray for joy and a spirit of love & generosity
Together we grow in faith!