The Easter Imperative: “Roll up your sleeves and get to work!”

– the Garden Tomb: empty

The women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid.”

Matthew 28:8-10
– gardening at Maul-Hall April 3

In addition to planting trees, another Maul-Hall Easter Saturday tradition is making our garden look good. Here in North Carolina this year, after a long wet, dreary winter, that meant I was doing the first serious yard work of 2021.


Not pristine; not anywhere near what needs to be done; not even 25% of what I was thinking about. But definitely a huge step in the right direction.

You could say I got the ball rolling.

Roll up your sleeves:

In a sense, that’s kind of what Easter Sunday is too. Jesus got the ball rolling in terms of what is now possible. The door has been opened (albeit at great cost), we have been invited to walk through, and now what we need is a wheelbarrow, a shovel, a trowel, some sheers, a pair of gloves, and a taste for hard work.

You see I do not believe Paradise is for sitting around, putting our feet up, and kicking back; God’s plan is better than that. I honestly feel – especially when it comes to the “on Earth as it is in Heaven” part – that the Kingdom of God is not only worth some sweat equity, it flat-out requires it.

“I am the gate,” Jesus said in John 10, contrasting himself with the approach too many religious leaders took (“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees,” the Master said at one point, “you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s facesMatthew 23:13).

I say this often, and I write it a lot too: “Jesus is God’s invitation.” It’s a party, yes, but it’s a work party for sure.

So what are we going to do?

So what are we going to do with this resurrection? What are we going to do in response to this invitation? How much are we willing to invest in God’s purposes?

I believe the best definition of salvation goes like this: Joining God in what God is up to; participating in God’s initiatives of justice, mercy, grace, love, and promise.

Happy Easter! Christ is risen! So let’s put our gloves on, grab some tools, and get to work!

In love, and because it is God’s love that makes this all possible – DEREK

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