On this second Sunday of Easter, much of the world has moved on. The stores promote another holiday. Society’s attention turns elsewhere. Even within the church we may witness some surprised side-glances as we sing more Easter hymns and continue to wish one another a happy Easter. It’s only been a week; but in the fast-paced secular world, Easter is already a distant memory. The urgency of the good news has lost its edge. We know this already, after all.
In my church, we often use words from First John to call us to confession and also to declare God’s pardon. We are an Easter people, and yet we are broken. We have sinned, and yet we have received abundant and overwhelming grace.
Our church knows discord too well. Our congregations know division and disagreement. Need exists among us, as well as greed and selfishness. Few of us find ourselves united in experience as were the first disciples.
God forms the basis of our communion with one another. In Christ we are one body, despite our discord. We are sinners, but we are a people, a community. And we are a forgiven people.
We are an Easter people with all our faults and our goodness. In our unity and discord, in our belief and doubt, we are an Easter people—loved, forgiven, and freed.
This good news is always good, and this good news is always new. Christ is risen!
Through the rest of the Easter season, how can you find ways to remember the urgency and joy of the good news?
Risen Christ, keep my senses alive to the newness and joy of your good news. Teach me attentiveness, that I may seek love everywhere and live the gospel in each moment. Amen.
Easter promises us the possibility of new life in Christ, but what should that life look like? Scripture makes clear that one sign of union with God is unity with each other. How wonderful it is, the psalmist says, when there is peace among brothers and sisters. Unity and peace do not mean simply the lack of conflict but proactive care for one another. The Christians in Acts lived out this care in a practical way by giving of their material means to help one another. John in his epistle tells us that this fellowship with one another is ultimately modeled on the fellowship we share with God and Christ, while in his Gospel, John teaches that belief in Jesus the Messiah is what binds us all together in this new life.
• Read Acts 4:32-35. In what ways have you experienced the generosity of community?
• Read Psalm 133. How and where do you experience the wild, extravagant love of God?
• Read 1 John 1:1–2:2. How do you keep ever before you the urgency and joy of Easter?
• Read John 20:19-31. What fears keep you locked away from the world?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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