Weekly Reflections for April 9, 2023
The last time I wrote a reflection for Easter was in 2020 – the first Easter of the COVID-19 pandemic. That year, life was completely different from the norm. There was fear and loneliness for many of us. But there was also an abundance of time. Days moved slower. We had to stay in. We took up new hobbies. We called up friends and family. We had parties over Zoom. We tried sourdough starters. We took more walks. We did so many things so differently that our world literally began to change. Animals began to flourish again. The water ran clearer. Our skies became so free of pollution we could see mountains and stars from our cities. Those months in lockdown gave us a window to see what our world could be.
But when the lockdown was removed, many things snapped back to the way they had been before as quickly as possible. There were no conversations about how we could keep those changes that were positive or how we could imagine a new kind of life for ourselves and our world. We just moved on.
Today is Easter. And similar to the pandemic, the first Easter was a game changer. It caused the followers of Jesus to stop and rethink what they had been doing. For some, it may have confirmed their belief in Jesus as Messiah. For others, the news of the resurrection may have been the first time they truly understood His divinity. But unlike ourselves, there was no going back for these people. What they witnessed and heard was so transformative they could not return to the way things had been. They could not just move on. They had to live differently and as a result, it changed the world.
The actions of those first disciples leave a challenge for us today: Will you let Easter permanently transform your life?
Permanently. It sends a bit of shiver down our spines. Permanent scares us. There is no going back when things are permanent. But there is lasting change. And that is the goal of Jesus – then and now. In his life and in his death, he showed us how love makes all the difference and he calls us to live our lives as the fulfillment of that love, letting it transform us and everything around us.
The amazing thing about transformation is that it can start with one simple step. During the lockdown, we stayed indoors and saw a stream of things that came out of that one simple change. Accepting the challenge of an Easter transformation can be the same way. Find your one thing – that one thing that will bring your life into closer alignment with the love of Jesus. Then, choose to commit to it. Because when we do, we not only see the way our world can be, but we begin to make that world our reality. – Erin Perkins