Ah, it’s Easter.
This Sunday (or Saturday) thousands will flock to the church of choice as a part of their Easter traditions. Many will put on brightly colored new clothes they got just for the day. Some will come with agenda’s, hoping they sing the good Easter songs, have the place all decked out with Easter lily’s, waiting to hear the all familiar, “Christ is Risen….He’s Risen Indeed”. And that… mostly means Easter.
Some will enter the doors of a church very early, so early it’s still dark. They want to feel what it must have felt like when Mary and the other Mary went to the tomb in the early morning dark. They want that element of surprise from their time at church. They want it to be different and somewhat not normal…but that is normal for what they want from Easter.
Others will shuffle into church, hungry for something that will make them different; make their life different; make them feel different. They will hear but perhaps not understand. They will shake hands and sit quietly but feel awkward on the inside. And that is what Easter will be for them.
Clearly, this won’t be everyone’s experience or expectation. We are all different and interpret the Easter experience in our own unique way.
But I can’t get excited about Jesus resurrection and then go about life like it didn’t happen. If Easter means something, than it means something.
I think Easter is about new shoes!
I’ve done a little thinking this week about Jesus and his death and resurrection and I’ve decided that what He did at the cross was offer each one of us a new pair of shoes. Not anything dainty or fashionable, but shoes that could handle rugged terrain. The kind that you wear on a long journey. The kind that you wear when taking a great adventure.
His offer is free. It’s for anyone who will take it. It doesn’t mean you leave your questions, fears, thoughts or tension at the door. No, it’s quite the opposite. He gives us the shoes so we can walk through the dusty, difficult roads of questioning, fears opinions, ideas, tension, suffering, change, opposition, uncertainty over what the “right” things are anymore etc. Redemption (which is a big word for God claiming us back from “the dark side”) is a messy road. And we stumble all the way to the end of it. We may not understand or feel what we want to feel along the way, but God’s love is not conditional on our “getting it”.
Our present frustrations, predispositions and tendencies often remain after we grab the new shoes from Jesus. But now we have a way through. The road is tough, but we are going somewhere!
I remember going on vacations as a child.
The road was often long and sometimes cramped
with a family of 7 and a dog drooling down my
back a good part of that time,
but looking out the car window I saw things.
Things that effected me.
Things that spawned my creativity, curiosity and wonder.
God right outside my car window and we were going somewhere!
The eternal journey isn’t about where you live, finding a mate, raising a family, doing good and charitable works, making your mark on the world, discovering your gifts and how they will work for you….the eternal journey is about getting to know God. That’s what Jesus said anyway. “Now this is eternal life: that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You’ve sent.” (Prayer of Jesus in John 17:3 NIV) Everything else is secondary.
So for my friends who have Easter shoes, put them on if you’ve taken them off. Pick your head up…I know it’s been a tough road and there are many miles ahead…but look around. See God. Stay on the journey. The shoes you wear and the road you walk have been travelled by Christ Himself, He’s well acquainted with the terrain and is a guide like non-other.
And for my friends who don’t have a pair of Easter shoes, and don’t even really know what I’m talking about perhaps, make room for curiosity in your life. Wonder about Jesus and consider your shoes.