See you next year, Jesus

Church attendance peaked yesterday as Christians celebrated the Resurrection. For some it is just a tradition; for others it is the holiest day of the year. Flowers, song, and polished sermons mark the day and rightfully so. Christ Jesus’ victory over sin and death was marked ‘complete’ by His emergence from the Tomb. To be sure there is a lot of celebration. It was a wonderful day for me, my faith renewed, my spirit rejoicing,  the stresses of life set aside.  In the church I found true ‘sanctuary’ in His Presence.  I felt, anew, the truth that I am more than flesh and blood, that I am an eternal child of God. So, the songs are still. The churches are silent. What now? It’s Monday after Easter…

Though the celebration may end, we are sustained by the Truth that remains. God is the same this morning as He was on Easter Sunday morning. The ‘stuff’ of the celebration – flowers, songs, and flourish – are gone but Christ is the same Lord of all. We came to Resurrection Sunday with our minds prepared to rejoice, now let’s meet Monday with the assurance that He is Savior, Lord, and Hope for life.

God does not only speak on Sunday or live in the church. The Holy Spirit is not defined by a place or holy day! He is with us everywhere, all of the time. Jesus illustrates the holy connection that allows us to hold onto the joy with the vine and the branch picture. “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful apart from me. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5, NLT)  

He invites us to a life-giving connection that is ongoing and permanent.  Be ‘in me’ He says.  As we pray, worship, meditate, love, forgive, serve, give, an organic connection allows the Holy Spirit’s life to in us and through us.  It’s more than a feeling, it’s a fact!  That faith connection to Him keeps us focused, living our true identity as God’s own children, and we live in holy joy!

This day after Easter, don’t leave Jesus at home.
Don’t just slide back into drudgery, into a dutiful and joyless Christianity.

Eagerly ask, “what’s next, Lord?”

If a daily awareness of God’s Presence is new to you, begin new habits of prayer and praise. Plan now to be part of His church in worship next Sunday, coming with the same expectation of joy. Respond to His love today with thankfulness. Easter 2023 may be history, but we are invited to LIVE IT every day.  We would never say it consciously, but do our day to day actions say “See you next year, Jesus”?

Here’s a word from the Word. “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God’s right hand in the place of honor and power. Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth. For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your real life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. (Colossians 3:1-4, NLT)

(Video of this blog at this link)


Living Hope

How great the chasm that lay between us

How high the mountain I could not climb

In desperation I turned to heaven

And spoke Your name into the night

Then through the darkness Your loving-kindness

Tore through the shadows of my soul

The work is finished the end is written

Jesus Christ my living hope

Who could imagine so great a mercy

What heart could fathom such boundless grace

The God of ages stepped down from glory

To wear my sin and bear my shame

The cross has spoken I am forgiven

The King of kings calls me His own

Beautiful Savior I’m Yours forever

Jesus Christ my living hope

Hallelujah praise the One who set me free

Hallelujah death has lost its grip on me

You have broken every chain

There’s salvation in Your name

Jesus Christ my living hope

Then came the morning that sealed the promise

Your buried body began to breathe

Out of the silence the Roaring Lion

Declared the grave has no claim on me

Jesus Yours is the victory

Jesus Christ my living hope

Oh God You are my living hope

Brian Johnson | Phil Wickham

© 2017 Phil Wickham Music (Fair Trade Music Publishing [c/o Essential Music Publishing LLC])

Simply Global Songs (Fair Trade Music Publishing [c/o Essential Music Publishing LLC])

Sing My Songs (Fair Trade Music Publishing [c/o Essential Music Publishing LLC])

CCLI License # 810055

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