By OREN STEINER
Local guest columnist
Recently it was rewarding to hear several newscasts mention that Christian communities globally celebrated the Easter event surrounding the Holy week with various activities.
So, friend how did you prepare yourself for this yearly extraordinary occasion? What kind of opportunities did you embrace by engaging yourself in the lives of others? Some of us may recall several decades ago hearing a pastor share when he did his utmost in preparing the congregation for the darkness that deeply embedded their lives while reading passages of the Holy week and in particular on Good Friday. He developed a phrase, I still remember 40 years later, “It’s Friday but Sunday’s a-comin’.” Each day of the Holy week as together they recited this phrase with him, building up the tempo a bit from each previous night. Friday night came and went but when Sunday finally rolled around, they were all excited and (facial complexions, verified this) and with gusto repeated this newly recent phrase, “It’s Friday—but Sunday’s a-comin’. The day they were looking forward to and promised had finally come. It was true!
Just how important is having Easter on your calendar page to you? Could it be possible Easter ought to rank higher than any other national holiday? Let’s bring the Easter hope to others. It is about life! The blood-stained cross which held Jesus the Savior of the world served its purpose for our salvation.
Where has our focus been this past Easter? Has it been about your future personal resurrection, or peradventure it might have included some words from a hymn writer who wrote, “Lift your glad voices in trump on high, for Jesus has risen and man shall not die.”
Do you identity with the excitement that Paul wrote about in I Cor.15 about the subject of resurrection? If you are excited, how might it manifest itself both inside and outside? Maybe it included an early Easter sunrise service looking toward the east in the brilliant sunshine as the sun peeked out from the distant horizon.
Perhaps you were privileged and included listening to live musicals that stirred the inner person with rejoicing with a few occasional teardrops when reflecting on the sufferings of Christ and now the victorious message He is alive and risen.
Did your preparation prior to Easter accompany taking time to read and reflect on scripture passages pertaining to the Lent season from the first four gospel writers of the New Testament? I was privileged and enjoyed special interesting live audio renditions concerning nine Bible characters that comprise the Easter voices in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. While Easter provides opportunities for punctuations like periods, commas, and question marks, there are times where question marks become re-shaped into massive exclamation marks. May we have a similar aspiration and echo the words from the apostle Paul while writing to the believers in Philippi.
“That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” Phil. 3: 10-11 (NKJV)
A pondering yet lingering truth. No force from hell could hold Him captive in the grave, it is empty. Hallelujah! What a Victory! Now and for eternity, behold He is alive forevermore!
Whether you are a pastor in a church, a musician in a large orchestra, a Sunday school teacher or one who faithfully attends and contributes to public worship. Let’s remember to keep Easter alive every day and let the loud Hosanna’s ring!
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” I Cor. 15:58