It's Easter... at last! Weeks before, supermarkets started to load onto their shelves all types and brands of Easter eggs, chocolates, and plastic egg shells for Easter egg hunts. Surprisingly, unlike last year, the shelves are still loaded with chocolates today. Many people, believers and non-believers alike, spend Good Friday and Easter Sunday differently. What is Easter to you personally?
As we continue to remain with Jesus in His joyous resurrection, celebrating His victory over death, we are reminded that this is not the type of 'remaining' that finds its source only in the jubilation of this season. It is a continuation from Lent, and in fact, from the beginning of all creation. God had a plan and we are all a part of His plan - God's perfect plan of love. A love that encompasses mercy, forgiveness, justice, peace, joy, an everlasting sonship. A love that is always reaching out to call us home.
God revealed Himself to us in this plan in the coming of Jesus on Christmas morn, His ministry on earth to lay the foundation of His church, His passion, death and resurrection. Easter did not just happen. It is a continuum. A long history preceded. We now celebrate Easter as a participant in this same history and plan. We continue the Easter story in a relay first started by the apostles.
Easter is not just the long awaited liberation from our fasting, abstinence and almsgiving; the time we break free from our self-discipline to indulge, even though we are most tempted to run from suffering to pleasure. We are reminded today of the price that Christ first paid before His resurrection and to remain with Him in the Easter joy, we must first carry our daily crosses, dying to ourselves, our selfishness, pride and sin, choosing always the ways of God, abiding by His teachings, sharing with Him an intimate relationship, and so in the end, we may rise with Christ to the ranks of the Saints. Remaining with Jesus in the resurrection requires us to first remain with Him in His crucifixion.
Amidst the joy of this season's celebrations, let us always remain grounded with God to savour all that He has in His great mercy and love done for us from the beginning of time. Have a blessed, grace-filled and joyous Easter.
Before the world was made, he chose us, chose us in Christ, to be holy and spotless, and to live through love in his presence, determining that we should become his adopted sons, through Jesus Christ for his own kind purposes, to make us praise the glory of his grace, his free gift to us in the Beloved, in whom, through his blood, we gain our freedom, the forgiveness of our sins.
Such is the richness of the grace which he has showered on us in all wisdom and insight. He has let us know the mystery of his purpose, the hidden plan he so kindly made in Christ from the beginning to act upon when the times had run their course to the end: that he would bring everything together under Christ, as head, everything in the heavens and everything on earth.
And it is in him that we were claimed as God's own, chosen from the beginning, under the predetermined plan of the one who guides all things as he decides as his own will; chosen to be, for his greater glory, the people who would put their hopes in Christ before he came.