I thought about writing my own Easter reflection this year, but stumbled across this special letter and decided to share it. I feel that it sums up much of my own personal thoughts at this time of year, and I hope that you too can identify with it. HAPPY EASTER.
During a recent discussion with a friend, she articulated her feelings about Christianity by making the statement, “I am more of a “God” person–not really a “Jesus” person.” She went on to relate that she identified more with God than with Christ, even though she still considered herself a Christian.
Sadly, I knew exactly what she meant. I thought of the numerous times in the past where I have felt uncomfortable upon hearing someone exclaim, “Praise Jesus!” Or when I witnessed someone praying out loud, “Help me, Jesus.” And I have to ask myself: why should their obviously-close relationship with Christ create an awkward situation for me? Shouldn’t praying to Jesus be just as natural as praying to God?
I have often been guilty of falling back on God rather than referring to an active, living relationship with Christ. This conversation with my friend got me to thinking—have we become so “politically correct” that even amongst ourselves as Christians, we find it is easier to talk about “God” rather than “Jesus”?
And as we approach Easter—the central foundation of our Christian faith… the day that Christ rose from the dead… the day that we celebrate the LIVING Christ—shouldn’t it be a day that we confirm Christ living in US? On this Holy Day, I think it is important to ask ourselves, “Are we keeping Christ alive in our lives?”
“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not one of those who treats Christ’s death as meaningless…” ~ Galatians 2:20-21
I reviewed the following definitions of “Alive”…
- alert and animated,
- having interest and meaning,
- to be aware of and interested in,
- prevalent and very active,
- continuing to be supported or in use
…and I wondered if I could use them to describe my relationship with Christ. Is our connection, “alert, animated, prevalent, meaningful, active, in use?” Or is what I experience with Christ different—even something less than that? Why?
What does Christ’s Life, Death, and Resurrection really mean to our daily lives?
If we experience the Risen Christ, can we actually go on with our lives as if things are the same as before? Were our old selves truly “crucified with Christ”? And why has the phrase, “born again” become symbolic with fundamentalism? Aren’t all Christians “born again”? Would we describe ourselves in this way, or perhaps more significantly—why don’twe?
The words to this song by the popular Atlanta Christian group Third Day speak poetically of this very transformation:
“Well today I found myself, after searching for all these years. And the man that I saw, wasn’t at all who I thought he’d be.
I was lost when you found me here. I was broken beyond repair. Then you came along and you sang a song over me.
It feels like I’m born again. It feels like I’m living. For the very first time, I’m living for the first time.
It feels like I’m breathing. It feels like I’m moving. For the very first time; I’m living for the first time, in my life.”
Now that is what I call having “interest and meaning, being active and alive” in Christ. And perhaps that is the key—to harken back to our baptism and to be “Born Again.” Maybe that is the only way to keep Christ truly ALIVE in our lives.
So this Easter, as we approach the altar and partake of the “body and blood” of our Living Savior, let us all remember to let Christ live in us. Let us not be one of those who treats Christ’s death as meaningless. Let his death and his resurrection be significant events not only in our religious lives, but in our daily lives as well.
Let the Paschal greeting resonate with us: “Christ is Risen!” And let us always answer with enthusiasm—by our words and especially in our lives—”Christ is Risen, Indeed!”
Deborah J. Thompson is a writer, artist and Stephen Minister. Her articles are published by Crosswalk.com and “The Fish” family of Christian radio station websites around the country. She shares “Reflections” on Life andMarriage on her website, www.inspiredreflections.info. And she is working on her first book, Your Life, Your Choice, which gives 5 simple steps to harness the power of your choices and bring more Love, Joy and Peace into your life. Join her on Facebook and Twitter/InspireReflect.
Original publication date: March 30, 2010