Hi everybody! Hope everyone had a joyful Easter celebration! Whether it was by yourselves, or with a small gathering of people. The beautiful thing about the Easter Sunday celebration is that we can commemorate, celebrate, and think on the Lord’s Resurrection in any life circumstance. Even the one we’re currently in. I recently saw something a friend of mine shared on Facebook that really resonated with me. The picture they shared said something like, “This Easter is probably more like the first Easter than any other. There were no big celebrations, meals or gatherings.” I loved that. On that first Easter Sunday, there probably were no distractions, nothing to cause Jesus’ disciples to forget the true reason for celebration, and nothing to give but gratitude to God. And spend a little time with Jesus since He was resurrected and made new.
I cannot begin to imagine what those first post-Resurrection appearances of Jesus were like for everybody. I know if I were one of the Apostles back in the day, I probably would’ve doubted just like Thomas. And then once Jesus showed Himself, I probably would’ve felt awful for not believing, cried, and asked for forgiveness. I love this depiction of His appearance to everyone!
A way to avoid being a C&E Christian
I love Holy Week and Easter. Christmas too. I often feel most “on fire” with my faith during those holy times. But then I am bummed out when they pass. I have been guilty at times of being what some people might call a “C&E Christian.” That is, a person who gets so into Christmas and Easter, but who doesn’t feel as close to God all the other times of the year. I was nervous about this happening yet again since it’s the Monday after Easter. But I think God is showing me a way to combat it.
Folks, this is kinda freaky and weird in the best way possible. But I was thinking hard on what Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection meant on Holy Saturday. I wanted to learn more about what it meant. I was tired of being confused, and not working through that confusion. About a day after I started working through things, I stumbled across an ad on Facebook for a “free course to learn deeper meaning to the crucifixion and resurrection.” Now let’s get something straight: I know Facebook is sometimes like Big Brother, haha. Perhaps it was here.
But the fact that I didn’t search for that exact thing, and that this was so specific, felt to me like God was pointing me exactly in the direction I wanted to go. Even if something can be easily seen and explained, that doesn’t mean that God isn’t behind it. He’s just being more direct 😉
I didn’t take the “free course.” I simply grabbed my Bible, and opened it to the Letter from Saint Paul to the Hebrews. It’s the reasoning behind why Jesus is God in the flesh, why Jesus became a human like us, and why His sacrifice is necessary. Once I started reading it, I became “hungry.” And the more I read it, the more hungry I became to learn. After I read each chapter, I try to pick out a verse or collection of verses that teach me, or that I can learn something from. I then write down what interpretation I get from them. By the time I finish reading Hebrews, I hope I have a full collection of notes on the most important verses, and that my question has been fully answered.
Advice for staying steadfast in one’s faith
This seems to be the way God is helping me to avoid the trap I always fall into of cooling off in my faith after holy days. But remember, no one is ever going to be on fire, passionate and happy with where they are in their walk with Jesus all the time. That’s unrealistic. And we shouldn’t beat ourselves up when that happens. And there are times that it will happen. Guaranteed. We will be pulled off the path at times. But there are ways we CAN be better at weathering the less faithful times, and enjoy the times we feel close to God in a deeper way.
While I know everyone walks with God in their own way, how I’ve been trying to walk with Him is by reading at least one chapter of Scripture a day, and picking out least one important, or insightful thing from it, writing it down, and thinking about what it means. I also make sure to thank God for my blessings in prayer at least once a day. That means going to a quiet place, closing the door, and either praying out loud or in my head. I also try to think of what I can do better at in terms of bad habits and sins, and actively work to try to have better self-discipline and control. When I fail? I ask for forgiveness in prayer, realize that Jesus is there to pick me up, and try again. Lastly, I look for ways I can be more like Jesus each day. Some days, the opportunities are easier to see (and do) than others. And when I do see the opportunities to be more like Him, I say a prayer that those small opportunities please Him, and that they be for His glory. Not mine.
A walk with Jesus is a relationship. You get out what you put into it. The more we honestly try to find Him, the more He makes Himself known to us. And when He doesn’t seem to be telling us anything even though we’re trying to find Him? Be patient 🙂