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Easter People

Easter People

by Rev. Greg Gibson on March 28, 2024

Easter People

I was blessed to grow up going to church, so Easter holds a lot of special memories. When I was a kid, I remember getting up with my siblings extra early on Easter morning to hunt eggs left by the Easter bunny. We usually wore our new Easter clothes so we wouldn’t be late to church (which often led to wet shoes from the dew and grass stains on the new pants). Church was often followed by a special lunch, followed by a pickup basketball game with my dad, brother and other kids on the street. Easter was a special day for worship, new clothes, beautiful flowers, family and fun.

For a lot of us, these great memories and connections to Easter Sunday make it natural to associate Easter with a particular day – a one-day event. But we must never forget that, for us, as followers of Christ, Easter is not just an occasion, it’s who we are – it’s our identity!  We are Easter people!

To live as Easter people is to believe in resurrection, to believe that there is life after every death – large and small. This may be a job loss, a divorce, a life change, a health crisis, the loss of ability, a move, the loss of a relationship... the list goes on and on. Living into resurrection never means that we discount the reality of sin or the pain and suffering of death. But it means that these things don’t have the final word. It means there is always hope for a better day, always the possibility to rise from the ashes, always a second chance.

The reality of Jesus’ death on the cross involved deep suffering when our innocent Savior endured one of the harshest and most painful deaths a person can go through. But this deep suffering made a way for even deeper joy – the joy of salvation, eternal life in heaven and abundant life here on earth. It’s a joy not based on our changing circumstances but rooted in an unchanging God.

As Pope John Paul II famously said, “We are Easter People and Alleluia is our song!” As the Apostle Paul even more famously said, “Death has been swallowed up in victory!”

Every year, as Lent begins, Libby and I put a cross in our front yard with a purple sash representing this season of confession and repentance. On Good Friday, we replace the purple sash with a black one where it stays until the dawning of Easter morning when black is replaced by the white of resurrection. The tomb is empty! Jesus is alive and lives forevermore!

We are Easter people, living into the joy of resurrection every day. This is our story and “Alleluia” is our song!

“Christ is Risen. He is Risen indeed!” Thanks be to God!

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