Easter Joy!

What memory do you have for Easter? As a member of the clergy, I remember the joy of early morning services, even though Easter morning was always cold, whether on the roof of a building or in the cemetery. I also remember the joy of watching my daughter find plenty of Easter eggs at home with her dog without any competition. As a mother, I enjoyed purchasing an Easter dress for her each year, taking her to church and sharing a special dinner as a family.

For Christians, Easter is a holiday that brings joy that has the power to lift our spirits and bring us closer to one another. It is a time to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, embrace new beginnings and come together with family and friends. Easter is a reminder of God’s living faith, hope and love, and it is a time to reflect on life beyond death. 

However, in the face of challenging circumstances such as the Ukraine war, economic downturn, natural disasters, the bankruptcy of big banks, and the ongoing horrors of school shootings, finding joy seems almost impossible. So how can we find true joy as Christians? Here are a few ways we can cultivate joy even amid difficult times during this Eastertide.

First, this Easter, we can find joy in the knowledge that we are loved by God. In Romans 8:38-39, the apostle Paul writes, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, neither angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NRSVUE) No matter what happens in the world around us, we can be confident that God’s love for us remains constant and unwavering. This knowledge can bring us a deep sense of joy and peace, even in the midst of challenging circumstances.

Second, this Easter, we can find joy in serving others. In Matthew 25:40, Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it to me.” (NRSVUE) By serving others, whether volunteering at the church or simply reaching out to a friend in need, we can experience the joy of knowing that we are making a difference in the world and living out our faith in tangible ways.

Third, we can find joy this Easter in the hope of a better future. In Isaiah 43:18-19, we can take comfort in the knowledge that God is working to make all things new each and every day. God declared through prophet Isaiah, “Do not remember the former things or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth; do you not perceive it?” (NRSVUE) Our prayer is that God will give us eyes to see “a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (v.19)

For example, Bill and Gloria Gaither wrote the hymn “Because He Lives,” the all-time favorite song for Easter, in the late 1960s while the Gaithers were going through a rather traumatic time in their lives. Bill was recovering from mononucleosis, and it was a period of anxiety for Gloria, who was expecting a baby. The lyric is a confession of hope in Christ’s resurrection, conquering fear in their daily circumstances. It echoes within our hearts that we might be able to face tomorrow with all of the uncertainty that it brings. “Because he lives, I can face tomorrow; Because he lives, all fear is gone; Because I know he holds the future, and life is worth the living just because he lives.”

Finally, this Easter, we can find joy in the community of believers. In Hebrews 10:24-25, we read that we should “provoke one another to love and good deed, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another.” (NRSVUE) We can find strength, encouragement and support when we come together with fellow Christians. Even when the world around us seems bleak, we can take comfort in knowing that we are not alone in our struggles. Come home to Bethesda on Easter morning.

May God richly bless you and your family with full of joy on this Easter, a time of rebirth and renewal!

Similar Posts