Easter is more than egg hunts and chocolate; it’s about the Risen Lord

Published 11:50 am Friday, April 7, 2023

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This is Easter weekend, and there will be lots of Easter egg hunts today and Sunday. Sunday morning, many churches will have a sunrise service followed by morning worship with Easter songs and sermons about the Resurrection.
As we approach this special time of the year and celebrate the resurrection of the Son of God, I wonder whether we have forgotten the great gift we have been granted by the Almighty Himself. You certainly can’t believe it by the bickering going on this week in the Tennessee Legislature and last, but not least, the divide among United Methodist congregations over the LGBT controversy. It’s a conversation that should not be happening.
According to a Wall Street Journal, Americans appear to be pulling back from those basic values that have defined our citizens for so many years.
The sharp divide in the nation can be attributed to the sharply divided political parties, who are equally divided along social issues.
The poll reported, “Some 38 percent of respondents said patriotism was very important to them, and 39 percent said religion was very important.” That was down sharply from when the Journal first asked the question in 1998 when 70 percent deemed patriotism to be very important and 62 percent said so of religion.”
You have to remember that our nation was founded on strong Judeo-Christian values, which multiple generations that have come before us have felt strongly about and have helped them endure many challenges over the years of this nation’s existence.
How do we fix the divide in our state legislature, in Congress, and in our churches? I’m not sure. But what I do know is that we are better than this, better than the social disarray that we’ve seen our nation slip into.
I don’t believe that was the plan that the God in Heaven had in mind for us or any of His people. Humanity has so much good within it. That good shines through the darkness with every disaster, whether man made or nature made. He has given us great minds and dedicated souls to muster the strength to do the big things He expects of us.
When a disaster occurs, our friends and neighbors are there, such as the many who have responded to the call to help where tornadoes struck last week and this week. We are a people who are ready to give and to reach out to those in need.
What is lacking? The God in Heaven does not live in our hearts. Many live as though He is still in the tomb. But Christ arose, and He lives today! It began the day when that heavy stone was rolled away from the entry to the tomb, where His mortal body was taken to after His crucifixion all those many years ago.
When we embrace that truth, it makes a difference. We love instead of hate. We embrace each other in humility, not power.
Our churches need to learn that truth…as well as government, the workplace, and our neighbors. First we need to read Matt 22: 37-40, and then we need to practice it: “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Happy Easter! Jesus is alive!

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