This morning, I read my post from Easter last year , and feel Easter is SUCH an important event for the world, for myself, and for my family, that I should make it an annual event to record my thoughts each year. So here are reflections for Easter '10.
This year I have been thinking even more deeply about the Resurrection, and how our view of our life after death shapes our lives and our mission today. Most of all my thoughts have stemmed from NT Wright's teachings in Surprised by Hope. So throughout the year I have been thinking of how as a family we can make Easter a central part of our Christian celebrations. Christmas easily steals the highlight with the kids for obvious reasons (presents!) and we've decided to not radically change that tradition because we want the kids to enjoy memories of anticipation and "magic" of Christmas. However, we cannot let Easter pass without stressing enough to the kids the importance of the Resurrection of Christ.
Unfortunately, this year because our lives have changed so dramatically with moving from China and being in a new environment (again) we haven't been able to do justice to the Lenten period. But what has been a dominant theme in my head as I've thought about Easter is that Jesus' resurrection gives us hope for change. If God could raise Jesus from the dead, it means He has given POWER to all the teachings of Jesus. Which means we can HOPE to love, to do justice, to love mercy, to forgive our enemies, to care for neighbors AND strangers. So this morning, this is what we told the children over breakfast. We are obviously not a perfect family, but today on Easter day, we are reminded of the hope that we can be different tomorrow, we can change for the better, we can make this world a better place. So we decided that we would go online and sponsor a child from World Vision, in the hope of helping another child have a chance at health, education, and opportunities just as our children get to have. Our hope is every year at Easter we can "celebrate" by making a decision to bring about change so that the Resurrection is lived out through our practical lives.
This year for my birthday I helped raise funds for women who have suffered gender violence in Congo. And today, I thought about how Easter gives some parts of the world a reason to celebrate, to have Egg hunts, to eat a big meal, none of which is bad, but it is mind-blowing to imagine what Easter must mean to the women who have no reason to hope, who have trouble even urinating because they've been raped violently, whose lives are shattered in every way, that Christ came for them and when He was raised God promised JUSTICE and COMPASSION and DELIVERANCE for them. It is good news indeed for the most poor and destitute. I am thankful I serve such a Risen Lord.