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Cling to Joy

Easter was a little different this year, wasn’t it?  We weren’t able to gather together to worship with our faith communities and we weren’t able to gather with those family members who we don’t live with to celebrate. But the tomb was still empty, Easter still happened, and we still proclaimed and celebrated that Jesus is alive! Then Monday morning hit and I thought, “Well now what?”  Monday morning didn’t feel as exciting as Sunday morning.  So much of my thoughts, time, and energy recently had been focused on Holy week and Easter. After some coffee and an attitude adjustment I remembered that Easter is NOT a one day celebration!  Pshhh….silly me!!!  We are Easter people all year long! That’s good because I need the excitement, joy, and hope of resurrection more than one time a year.  How about you? So how can we continue to intentionally be Easter people a couple of days, a week, a month, or even six months after the big celebration of Easter?  Especially now when there is so much continued uncertainty with a pandemic, finical instability, job loss, the education of our children and grandchildren, cancelled spring and summer plans?  Mother Teresa said, “Let nothing so disturb us, so fill us with sorrow or discouragement, as to make us forfeit the joy of the resurrection…we may not be able to give much but we an always give the joy that springs from a heart that is in love with God.” The disciples had so much joy when they learned that Jesus was alive.  There was joy as the women ran from the tomb to tell the others that Jesus was alive (Matthew 28:8), there was joy when the resurrected Lord appeared to the disciples who were gathered in Galilee (Luke 24:41), it was the joy of seeing Jesus standing on the beach that made Peter leap from the fishing boat to race to be closer to his Lord (John 21:7), and the disciples returned to Jerusalem with joy after Jesus’ ascension (Luke 24:52) There were still lots of hard days for the disciples after the resurrection.  Many days of uncertainty.  Many days when their very lives were in danger.  But they continued to cling to the joy of the resurrection.  If they had let hardships disturb, discourage or fill them with sorrow, they would have been unable to effectively spread the gospel.  Even in the darkest, hardest days the disciples relied on the joy of the resurrection to spur them on as they shared the love and grace of Jesus Christ with others. As a result-the number of Jesus followers grew.  Today we are the ones who now get to share the love and grace of Jesus Christ with others.  In these days, weeks, and perhaps months of uncertainty to come, May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.   (Romans 15:13)

Pastor Becky

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