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This Side of Easter

The envelope was unassuming, nothing flashy or eye-catching. Amidst the colorful mail inviting our family to Easter celebrations, it appeared drab in comparison. But the text right next to our address caused me to stop and ponder. It read: Living on the EASTER Side of History.

The letter came from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, a ministry long respected for outreach and integrity. The inside information was well presented, but it was the text on the envelope that haunted me. Do I fully appreciate the blessing of living on the Easter side of history? Do you?

To be born in the 20th century in the most affluent nation on earth, with access to God’s Word everywhere I turn, do I take advantage of all the spiritual blessings at my fingertips? Ashamed, I have to say “no.”

Though I do a lot of Christian things and serve in a Christ-centered agency, I fail to consistently live as if Christ’s sacrifice on the cross brought me true freedom, hope and joy. I must remind myself of the truth of Easter: Christ’s atoning death for our sins and His resurrection from the grave, gives us eternal life. His suffering, and victory over death, is transformative. But only as I keep Him in focus. Eternal life, abundant life, begins now!

This side of Easter, Christ offers me resurrection power and I’m reminded of my need to appropriate it.

Paul wrote in his letter to the Colossians: “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” (Colossians 3:1-4)

This side of Easter, we can experience the freedom, hope, and joy Jesus paid dearly for by setting our hearts on things above, not on earthly things. So simple, yet so profound.

Have you heard the expression “live loved”? It’s a Christian catch-phrase reminding believers we have a choice to live as loved children of God, not down-trodden by the cares of our lives, communities and world. Focus, my friends, on God’s goodness evidenced by Christ’s loving sacrifice. Turn your eyes upon Jesus, and disappointment, frustration, and despair will fade away. As we allow His Spirit to minister to our hearts, may we walk in the newness of that first Easter, all year long.

And invite everyone to join us! Shalom.

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