Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Bring Easter To Your Home

It was Easter weekend. Last year I attended our church's Good Friday service at noon plus another city-wide service in the evening with some twenty-five hundred people in attendance. Both were outstanding. We offered four services Saturday night and Sunday morning and I'm sure they were all inspiring and wonderfully uplifting as other gatherings were all over the world.

Interestingly, Easter each year is one of two services that may be some people's only visit to church this year. We love the opportunity to share with them the amazing story of Christ coming to die and rise again because of God's love for the world. I am confident that hundreds of thousands will experience the reality of Christ in a powerful way this year too.

However, it's not enough to just go somewhere to experience an Easter celebration. The truth of the Easter season is richest and most life-changing when it is brought into our homes. If we're a Christ follower then Easter must literally make a difference in how we live life. It can, you know.

What would that look like? There are hundreds of possibilities but let me suggest a few. Easter helps us to forgive. Because God forgave us through Christ's payment on the cross, we are free to forgive others who have hurt us or let us down. In an everyday sense that means we give our kids and spouses room to make a mistake and not continue to pay for it for weeks, months or years later. When they ask for forgiveness, we gladly say "yes."

And in the bigger picture of life, our forgiveness helps us to let go of past painful experiences that may continue to haunt and control us today. Forgiveness doesn't necessarily mean we reconcile with the other person or accept what they did as suddenly ok. No, forgiveness is as much about us as them. It frees us to determine that their actions will no longer own or paralyze us.

Second, Easter changes our priorities. Because of Easter and a relationship with Christ we don't have to wring this world and our relationships out for more and more. When we don't believe that we have a future beyond this life we tend to demand that this life give us more than it can ever give.

But with God living in us, we are now freed to spend our time loving others, serving people and doing things that really matter. We enjoy the things we have for what they are not for what we think they MUST be. We can slow down and start to spend more time doing things that we'll look back and see a valuable, long-lasting legacy from, not just an accumulation of stuff.

Third, Easter makes us want to love. Easter was all about God's love for us therefore we are compelled to love others. And this kind of love is not some mushy, sentimental, everything's nice kind of love. No it's a love that is radical, that even says and does the hard things to help another person and isn't focused on ourselves. The world is longing for that kind of love and we have the opportunity to exhibit it to others all around us every day.

Are the people closest to you seeing God's incredible love IN you?

Bring Easter into your home this year. Forgive, re-do your priorities and radically love each other. Tell your kids the Easter story and then talk about what that could imply in your home. Watch The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and talk about the similarities of Aslan to Christ. Remind them of what Jesus did for them and they'll have a model from which to live the rest of their lives as well. Happy Easter.
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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