Well, we made it! We’ve always known the end of the story, but it still feels miraculous. I think part of this, at least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, is that we are also emerging from the cold and darkness of winter. Spring is here, or very nearly. The early flowers and green shoots are coming up, the days are lengthening, the sun feels warmer. The earth’s hopefulness of new life is contagious.
As an aside, I’m going to need to spend some time pondering our holidays and how they fall seasonly. I haven’t given serious thought to how the holidays like Christmas and Easter fall in opposite seasons in the Southern Hemisphere, what must that be like? I’d love to know your experiences if you are a Southern Hemisphere dweller or have visited during a holiday season. As our world becomes more interconnected, I am becoming more aware of how the seasonal imagery I have tied to specific holidays because of where I was born is not everyone’s experience.
Anyway, thanks for taking that little aside with me. Back to the main story – Easter! It’s here! Jesus is Risen!
So now what? What difference does this information make in your life? Does it make any difference at all?
We have spent the last 40 days preparing for this moment. Now that anticipated moment is here. Are we different? Have we changed? Or will we go back to work tomorrow the same person who was at our desk, washing machine, truck, or grocery store on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday?
Change is difficult. If we have been faithful to our fasts, prayers and almsgiving for these past 40 days, we ought to have made a start at change. We have created more room for God with our fast. We have deepened our conversation with God through prayer. We have recognized the need to rely on God’s providence in our almsgiving.
I think the hardest days of these two seasons are:
- The Monday after Ash Wednesday when we begin to struggle with motivation and perseverance in our Lenten practices
- Monday after Easter when we have to choose what to do now that the requirements of Lent are gone.
Will we go back to who we were, or will we become who God called us to be this Lent?
I have good news, Jesus knew this would be hard and scary. He knew He was asking His disciples to believe the impossible, to speak the impossible. He says to them over and over again, “Do not be afraid.”
Don’t make choices out of fear, make them out of love for Christ. What does Jesus ask us to do? To go out to all the nations and share the Good News – Jesus is Risen! But what does this look like, practically speaking? Here’s a few examples from my own life.
Sharing the Good News means not being afraid to share my faith with my children. When they ask questions, I give them honest answers. When they are confused, I share my perspective and how God calls us to view the situation. When I hear them being unkind to one another, I remind them they are all God’s children and we are called to love one another.
Sharing the Good News means not being afraid to consider a new ministry position, even if you’ve only been at your parish a few months and don’t know many people. There’s always a need for catechists, Bible study small group leaders, choir members, or lectors, just to name a few of the ministries I’ve participated in as we have moved from place to place. We aren’t in one place for long, there isn’t much time to “get to know” a parish before it’s time to move again. Jump in where you see a need, don’t wait.
Sharing the Good News means not being afraid to speak truth when presented with the opportunity. It means leaning into the Holy Spirit’s wisdom for how to speak and what to share. It means discerning what going to help a specific situation – a strict declaration of Church teaching (which is correct), or a gentle word of reassurance of Jesus’ love for each person, no matter the situation they find themselves struggling with (which is also correct). Both options are truthful, but depending on who you are speaking with, one might be better than the other. It takes both bravery and humility to ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom, it means relying on His strength and not your own.
Sharing the Good News means this blog and video series. These have been works of the Holy Spirit and come out of my prayer. God has placed these desires in my heart and has also given me the courage to share them with you.
I hope you find the courage to step out in faith and share the Good News this Easter season. Each of us is called to share Jesus’ resurrection in a unique way. How the world will change when we each take this calling seriously and live to proclaim: