First – and this is important – the tomb is still empty! Easter is not a one-and-done celebration, Easter is a state of being. Yesterday’s Sunday morning celebrations were not so much the end of Lent, they were the beginning of living in response to victory, resurrection, new life, and so much more!
This is why I urge you to listen to Rebekah’s challenging Easter message (starting at the 13:00 minute mark of “They Said Nothing to Anyone“). Rather than simply trotting out a series of recycled ideas, Rebekah took a fresh look at a passage that is startling in terms of what it does not say.
Easter morning 2021 was spectacular, featuring brilliant sunshine, mild temperatures, and a church campus just beginning to burst out in spring colors. The CLC filled to its maximum allowed occupancy (modified for COVID, of course), and we could literally feel the resurgent spirit of resurrection that is bringing so much hope to us as a community.
So today, Monday, I want to talk a little about the idea at the heart of Rebekah’s message yesterday: “Jesus is going ahead of you into Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you…”
Galilee, Rebekah pointed out, is where ordinary life took place for the followers of Jesus. It’s where they met him, where they pursued their trade and raised their families, where normal everyday life played out. Galilee is the place Jesus calls us to be.
In my first book, I confessed to holding a romantic ideal around living an adventurous Christian life. Growing up, I had read so many stories about Christian “heroes” and I wanted to be one. Livingstone exploring darkest Africa; Corrie ten Boom facing Nazi prison camps; David Wilkerson with his Cross and the Switchblade; pop icon Cliff Richard singing to thousands; Richard Wurmbrand behind the Iron Curtain….
Then one day I looked at my life: I was a husband, father, teacher, church member, all around good citizen; a man who paid his taxes, drove the speed limit, walked his dog on a leash, and went to bed on time – and I felt embarrassed, “a little disappointed in myself”. What was I doing to leave my mark on this world?
Then I realized, in one of those deep epiphanies, that this is exactly where God wants me to be; to shine, to love, to go about my business, all the while letting God’s light spill over. God intends to be present, and full of grace, and extraordinary in and through my ordinary life.
Rebekah pulls this out through her message beautifully, talking about our invitation to meet Jesus in Galilee, in the ordinary everyday life we engage, day after day. This is where Easter can take hold, where Good News can be lived out loud, where God’s Kingdom can work its way, inexorably, into more and more of the human experience.
Today is the day after Easter Sunday. Christ is still risen! So what are we going to do about it? – DEREK
A few photographs from Easter Sunday 2021…