After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” - Matthew 28:1-10 (NIV)
Welcome to Easter! Resurrection Sunday has arrived. It is time to bring the season of fasting, repentance, and mourning to a close. If you’re reading too quickly, you may have missed it… read a little more slowly!
Welcome to Easter… Resurrection Sunday has arrived… it is time to bring the season of fasting… repentance… and mourning to a close. Why do those words matter? I’m guessing that most of us are better at fasting (self-denial), repentance (sadness over our failures), and mourning (living with a dull sense of loss and grief), than we are at celebrating the victory that is ours through the events of Easter morning.
This Easter is unlike any we have ever known in our lifetime. Our traditions are missing. Our celebrations are on hold, yet one thing hasn’t changed: this day is about a victory. A win. It is about God changing our view of the limits of life forever. Up until this point in the Biblical narrative and human experience, life had certain limitations - therefore so did faith, hope, and even relationship with God. Everything had a very limited potential.
On that first Easter morning, God lifted the limitation of His promises. They were no longer just promises to get us through life, they are now promises that mean life has no end. That matters. What if for a moment you believed that God’s promises had no limits in your life? What if you really believed that in all things God was working for your good… without limits? What if you actually believed that God was for you and that no one could be against you in any significant way? What if you believed that our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us a glory that far outweighs them all? Would you at least celebrate a little?
Our sense of dread, fear, pessimism, and hopelessness robs us of the beauty, peace, and rest of our true home. We were created to be in fellowship with our Creator and to live in that relationship with joy and thanksgiving. Too often our worries steal the peace God intended for us to have. Too often our pessimism chokes out our joy. That’s not just true of our spiritual home in Christ, but it also is true of our literal homes right here in the neighborhood!
If we want to celebrate Easter, then we must first realize that not being together in the traditional way, doing the traditional things is not what threatens the Easter celebration. What threatens it is missing the truth that Easter is a victorious celebration. We aren’t just celebrating that Jesus was raised from the dead, we are celebrating that God has released the limits on His promises and love. Paul reminds us that He has lavished his love on us through Christ! So listen closely…
Welcome to Easter! Resurrection Sunday has arrived. It is time to bring the season of fasting, repentance, and mourning to a close…The time has arrived to celebrate the unlimited victory of God. Home is a place of victory!
Today’s Breath Prayer
Pause and set your intention to become fully present to Jesus, who is with you in this moment, as you breathe this traditional Easter greeting with a fresh sense of victory.
- Breathe IN and say, “He is risen!” -or- "Risen!"
- Breathe OUT and say, “He is risen, indeed!” -or- "Indeed!"
- Repeat three times and notice the effect this prayer has on you
- Join us online for "Easter Together at Home"
- View all the Lent Daily Practice posts
- Get Started with Practices