Each year as Easter approaches I’m overcome by sadness, wistfulness, but just underneath there’s a sense of excitement, even joy, without connection to my circumstances. It’s my Easter emotional version of a budding tulip.
This springtime, Lenten journey is important to take each year. You experience the uncomfortableness of what Jesus went through, what he did for a wretch like you. Then just as it seems you can’t bear the hatefulness all around you and within your own heart – truth be told – your reminded that this story of Easter ends well. There’s hope, maybe even still hope for you.
How to keep hope’s embers alive past Easter? It’s so very hard because no matter how good you feel Easter morning by Monday night someone will have surely offended you or you’ll remember those who wronged you in the past.
The movie Paul, Apostle of Christ is out. It’s wonderful. Go see it. James Faulkner plays Paul, and Jim Caviezel plays Luke (Jesus in Mel Gibson’s The Passion). In the movie, you see just how horrid it was to be among the small group of Roman Christians during Nero’s reign of terror.
Luke goes to visit Paul in his dungeon prison cell to transcribe the last bits of wisdom Paul has to offer before his execution. Luke tells Paul of the awful suffering the Roman community is facing and about how the young men are plotting revenge and uprising. A group of the Christians has been rounded up for feeding to the lions at Nero’s next “circus” and are even being held in the same prison.
No matter what tale of woe and hardship Luke brings, Paul always points him back to the core message of Jesus’ life and words. That simple point that elicits an eye roll or “But you don’t know what they did…” from me and you.
It’s just love. But it’s so hard because “they” are so bad. However, Jesus will not let you shrug it off. There’s no getting around love, which takes forgiveness repeatedly if dare claim you know the Savior.
Let Easter fill you with joy. Take love with you into Monday. You can do it, and so can I.