In these warming days, we are drawn to take in the beauty of God’s creation & to observe & celebrate the new life given by God our Creator, as we observe & experience the fullness of the Holy Season of Easter.
We have now entered the season of Spring. Spring is often, in an earthly sense, referred to as the season of new life. As the earth turns & the sun shines & warms the climate, the seeds, bulbs & other plants that have been resting in the frozen earth of winter, gradually begin to poke up through the earth & to spread their beauty & produce their fruit. The flowers awake from winter & adorn the earth & perfume the air. Other plants bring forth fruits & vegetables to feed us. As the plants awaken to new life given, they clearly say, without the gift of speech, that life is good & sweet & though sometimes tangled in thorns, it is crowned with loveliness. In these warming days, we are drawn to take in the beauty of God’s creation & to observe & celebrate the new life given by God our Creator, as we observe & experience the fullness of the Holy Season of Easter.
Easter is known as the Holiest day in the Christian Church. When it is fully understood & received, Easter is a day of celebration, healing, hope, joy, rejoicing & reverent gratitude to God for the gift of: healing, forgiveness & the promise of eternal life given. As Christians observe & celebrate Easter annually, they do so seeing Easter from the retrospective view of the Cross. They know the Biblical account leading up to the crucifixion & then the resurrection with new life given to Jesus, the post resurrection appearances & the calling to believers to go forth with new hope & vision. However, knowing a story does not always mean we understand or embrace it fully. Generally speaking, it is an unfolding story that we grow & live into spiritually as we embrace God’s love for us. God’s love is vast, unmeasured, boundless & free. The current of His love rolls over us like a mighty ocean in its fullness. It flows all around us & underneath us, as it leads us onward & homeward to God’s glorious rest above. I envision His love engulfing us, not unlike when we are in the water & floating on our back. It buoys us up leaving no part of us dry.
We read in the Bible that the first Easter was a time of grief & sadness & confusion for the first century disciples of Jesus. They had walked with Jesus through His entire ministry. He was their teacher & their shepherd. Though in Luke 9:20-22, we read that when asked by Jesus who they thought He was, Peter answered saying: “the Messiah of God”. However, they still did not fully understand that Jesus was fully human & fully Divine, later stating that they had hoped He was the one to redeem Israel. As they watched their teacher & shepherd being killed, they were engulfed in grief. They thought He was gone forever. They were filled with fear, doubt & grief. They had been following Jesus every step of His ministry & now they had no idea what they would do without Him leading them. But then we read in Luke 24, that they heard from others that Jesus had been resurrected from the dead. They were understandably confused, abandoned & lost, almost afraid to hope that Jesus had actually overcome death.
The Bible tells us that as they walked along the road to the town of Emmaus sharing their grief & confusion with one another, they encountered the resurrected Christ but they did not recognize Him. As they shared their grief & confusion with Him, the deep boundless & free love of Jesus rolled over them & underneath them like a mighty ocean & they recognized Him as their teacher. As He revealed himself to them, leading them onward & homeward toward God, they felt God’s current of love moving in their spirits & new life began to emerge.
~Posted by Rev Kathryn Bindig, MDiv. MS; Pastoral Care Minister with assistance from Rich Muscatello; Director of Business Development & Strategy