Easter as a kid in my family was always something. It would start with the traditional receiving of easter baskets, a quick comparison to make sure we all got equal loot, eating cinnamon rolls and jelly beans for breakfast, and searching for plastic eggs around the house. Usually at some point, there’d be a fight between my sisters and I, or one of us would get in an argument with our mom over being forced to wear panty hose and uncomfortable shoes. Then we’d all line up next to each other to get our picture taken before heading to church.
I remember wanting Easter to mean something to me. I knew it was important, but I didn’t feel anything. I believed in Jesus and the story of Him dying and being risen from the dead, but it didn’t mean anything to me, personally. I wanted it to. But it didn’t.
Fast forward a couple of decades. This past Easter Sunday, I watched my 13 year old niece give her life to Christ and be baptized. I sat in a row with my entire family – that same, fighting family from when we were kids plus a few extras in the form of brother-in-laws, nieces, and my own daughter. The pastor was talking about how Christ’s resurrection on Easter morning brought with it profound love, forgiveness, and belonging. It was that final word that struck me- belonging. Psalm 68:6 says “God sets the lonely in families”. John 8:35 says “a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.”
It’s been a long time since I’ve felt nothing about Easter. I’ve sinned deep and have felt the sting of consequences from it. The death and resurrection of Jesus is now something I celebrate with my whole being in recognition of my desperate need for His love, forgiveness, and His Family (belonging). And on this day, watching as my niece not only gave her personal life to Christ, but joining the eternal Body of Christ, the joy of Easter was even more alive in my heart.
Christ’s body was given for us in more ways than one. The physical body of Christ was laid down, but as a result of that sacrifice, the Body of Christ was united forever.
Today and every day, we have the opportunity to celebrate this new life, this belonging that has been bestowed to each of us by the only One capable of giving such a gift!
“…for it is His boundless mercy that has given us the privilege of being born again so that we are now members of God’s own family. Now we live in the hope of eternal life because Christ rose again from the dead. And God has reserved for His children the priceless gift of eternal life” – 1 Peter 1:3-4
- Kara Moore, Director of Operations