Be an Easter Person All Year Long

cross_scarf_smWhat do we do, after Easter?

Can we really just walk away from the whole experience, putting away the stuff of Easter and going back to business as usual? Doesn’t it mean more to us than that?

If my Easter observance means anything to me, it has to make a difference after Easter
Sunday, doesn’t it? And if I take seriously the spirit of Easter, then it is important for me to be thoughtful and intentional about just what it means to be a person of Easter in the world I inhabit.

Here’s the bottom line for me this year: I cannot/dare not observe Ash Wednesday, Lent, Holy Week, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday and just yawn and go back to sleep at the wheel of my life as it used to be.

Being an Easter person surely means that I live in radical hope in the present, and not just the sweet bye and bye, doesn’t it? Easter must require me to exhibit hopefulness in a world that offers up multiple reasons to feel despair and hopelessness.

Being an Easter person means that I live in radical grace, accepting the forgiveness and mercy I’ve been offered and giving it with generosity, as it has been given to me.

If I am going to be an Easter person, that means that I am called to love people instead of using them as objects to meet my own needs. It means that I am going to have to give up manipulation, power, and control and am clean and clear in the love I give.

Authentic love for others does, indeed, introduce me to my own deep pockets of selfishness and neediness, but the grace of Easter can lead me to a change of heart and new, more loving actions.

I may make only one small change or many in my life in the coming year between this Easter and next year’s Ash Wednesday, but I want to do Easter justice by living it out in my the ordinary parts of my daily life.

What about you? What did Easter mean to you this year?

What will there be about the observance of it all that might be transformative for you, bringing you closer to the one wild and precious life you are meant to live? Will you experience the Presence of the Living Christ more fully, once you have observed Easter?

Will you give grace more easily when you have received the grace of the season?

How will you be more hopeful, having celebrated the wonder of resurrection?

Will you be more loving, compassionate, empathic, or tolerant when you have remembered the extent of God’s love for you?

Lamentations 3:23 affirms that God’s mercies are new every morning.

Surely that means that with the dawn of every new day, it is possible to begin against, re-claiming Easter and living it, one day at a time.

And when I forget to claim God’s mercy and grace in the morning, the good news is that it’s always morning somewhere, all the time.

With God, I can begin again at any time of the day.

Each hour, each moment, then, can be the moment of beginning again…if you are an Easter person. Each morning is an opportunity to proclaim again the affirmation of faith, “Christ is risen, indeed!” and an entire day to live within that mystery.

So…why wouldn’t you want to be an Easter person, all year long?

Jeanie Miley is a writer and columnist, retreat leader, and speaker on topics of spiritual growth and contemplative prayer. She is the author of ten books including Meeting Jesus Today and has written a weekly newspaper column, “Growing Edges,” for thirty-three years. Trained at the Spiritual Direction Institute in Houston, Texas, Jeanie has read and studied broadly in the areas of spiritual growth and is a spiritual director. Her work rests, as she says, on a “four-legged stool”—Bible study, the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, contemplative prayer, and Jungian psychology. Jeanie teaches a popular women’s Bible study at River Oaks Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, and at other sites in the Houston area. She is a frequent retreat leader for groups across the country. Visit www.jeaniemiley.com for more information.

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