It is Resurrection time... but I tend to get ahead of myself here... this week is known as Holy Week and Good Friday is fast approaching, with Easter (Resurrection) Sunday on the horizon.
I have to say, having not been raised in the church, I had no idea what Easter was all about when I fell in love with the One who died for me. I was all of 21 and thought for the whole of my life that Easter was just for the Religious. I wasn't sure what that meant, but I knew that it didn't mean me. (There was a season where that could no longer be said of me... but praise God - I can boldly claim that once again!)
Easter - for this girl, was all about Hallmark and Cadbury, jelly beans and dying eggs, having Ham and coloring pages for grocery store coloring contests, and eventually consuming lots and LOTS of egg salad sandwiches. Oh sure - I knew it had something to do with Jesus... or lambs or A lamb... with new dresses, bunnies, and somehow sitting through church. But - I didn't get it. Luckily - having the basket of candy helped to ease my pain.
So this Holy Week, I try to find myself walking through the Bible with Jesus... I reread the Gospels... I remember the Passion of the Christ... I count gifts... oh so many gifts... I bend low, and I climb up higher. I find with each year, that He captures my heart and refreshes my spirit... He reminds me of our call.
Whatever it is that we are destined for - we are to be doing it all while we are being love.
The first commandment, Jesus said Himself, was that the Lord our God is one Lord and that we were to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and the second was like it - to love our neighbor as ourselves.
He also told us that if the world were to know that we are His - they'd know it by observing and seeing our love for each other; they'd know we were Christians by our love. It's helpful to note that the kind of Love Jesus was referring to in John 13:35 was Agape love. God is Love - and this Agape love... this is HIS, not ours... This kind of love is sacrificial... it's a choice - not based on emotion... but on commitment. It's a decision we can make to allow Him to flow through us to be love to those around us!
So - I know my personal mantra this year (Speak Life. Be Love. Shine On.) can sound whispy and girlie and romantic... but it is a choice and it is not always easy! It takes purpose and grace and focus...
So when I say "Be Love" - I am not talking about a mamby-pamby, I'll-try-my-best-to-stir-up-my-own-failing-selfish-faltering-love kind of Love. Oh no... that falls down face first in seconds flat. That kind of love just won't do!
I am talking about Christ in you - the hope of Glory... I am talking about a Love you can't control or contain... a Love who shouts YES when all you hear is no... a Love that sees no shame, when all you feel is guilt... a Love that covers... forgives... stands in our place... pays our ransom and calls us His Beloved. I am talking about a Love that silences all your reasons and excuses of why you really shouldn't love or how you just don't want to love and reminds you that Love came in and swooped you up and showered you in Grace... and before that - you were just like 'them' (whoever 'they' may be!) Hint: often - 'they' are us!
Because, listen sweet one... on our own... in our own best efforts and with our own conditional love - we just can't Be Love... not the way we are called to be! But when we bend low and fill up fresh... when we remember that we have found a love greater than life itself... well - when we do that - it's not so hard... it's not so impossible... it's less about us, and it gets to be all about Him!
And more than the bunnies and the candy and even the chocolate... Easter - more than anything else - should be all about Him! Don't you agree?
Have a Blessed Easter, my friends!
Speak Life. BE LOVE. Shine On.
"I Found a Love" by Jenn Johnson... turn it loud... sit back... and fill up!