Now we see clearly the rest of the story. Death is not the end. Violence is not victorious. Death and darkness are overcome for all time and for all people! The Lord is risen. Death loses its sting, and God’s light permanently overcomes the darkness of evil. This is the new world in which the Christian now lives—the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven, life abundant and eternal. This is the news that brings hope to every Christian in every age and circumstance. It is the truth that gives courage and hope in the darkest hour and brings comfort, joy, and peace for all time. Cries of grief turn to songs of joy that have continued since that first Easter morning encounter with the risen Christ. Even the strongest doubts surrender as Christ’s living presence makes itself known to the followers of Jesus.
Now we join the mighty chorus and proclaim Christ—crucified, dead, buried, and risen from the dead—as the Lord of all things and Savior of all humankind. We celebrate the completion of the salvation story and offer our lives once again to walk in constant companionship with the risen Christ. We anticipate the outpouring of God’s Spirit upon us to enable us to live faithfully and joyfully as redeemed and beloved children of God. We realize now as never before the extravagant mercy and love of God for us and for all creation. This boundless and contagious love moves us day by day to live as Jesus lived, offering love, mercy, peace, and compassion to all we meet. This love sends the faithful to visit the prisoner, heal the sick, feed the hungry, rescue the lost, and provide for the poor. For now we better understand what it means to say, “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life” (John 3:16).
The season of Easter is set within the fifty days following our Lord’s resurrection. This season includes the Lord’s ascension and leads us to the season of Pentecost. Pentecost reminds us that we are never alone as faithful followers of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is sent to instruct, guide, and comfort us; to give us hope and joy and companionship through this life and into the next. Now we do know the rest of the story. Now we can make the gospel story our own.
From A Guide to Prayer for All Who Walk with God by Rueben P. Job, Norman Shawchuck and John S. Mogabgab. Copyright @ 2013 by Upper Room Books. All rights reserved.
I chose the book Because of This I Rejoice for our Sunday Spiritual Formation class. Our leader gave instructions for individuals to choose a 'discipline' to put into practice each week. Several class members have commented, "I like this book.” Read more.