Growing up in a non-religious home, Easter was one of the two times my family always attended church.
Like clockwork, Easter Sunday found us sitting in an unfamiliar church pew, singing unfamiliar hymns, and behaving as though the unfamiliar church service was our family norm. As a child I was nervous and excited all at the same time.
Easter meant chocolate bunnies, painted eggs, ham for dinner, a new dress, white gloves, and a hat… Always a new hat.
Easter was special. It was a time of newness, memories, and the taste of spring in the air. However, it wasn’t until many years and a gospel tract later that I understood the true meaning of Easter.
Recognizing the cross and God’s reconciliation of Himself with man radically changed my understanding of Easter. And, that radical change in understanding transformed how I celebrate Easter in my heart and in my relationships.
Understanding the lengths that God was willing to undertake in order to be in a restored relationship with me has encouraged me to take the opportunity at Easter to restore those relationships with others that are in disrepair or disarray. Easter is still about newness to me, but instead of new clothes or a new season, it’s become about newness in relationships… about replacing old conflicts with new and renewed commitments to reconciliation.
Too often, I’ve allowed the passage of time to replace God when it comes to resolving conflict. I’ve hoped that distance or “forgetfulness” will heal the hurts that come from misunderstanding or disagreement.
Time can never replace biblical restoration!
Like the Winter Storm Warnings that are plaguing the East Coast this spring, unresolved conflict is like dark storm clouds hovering overhead. Dark storm clouds threatening blustery weather, but with no guarantee of how bad the storm will be or how long the storm will last.
The same is true of relational storm clouds. We never know when those storms will descend and old wounds will be reopened.
Living in apprehension of relational storms is unnerving and unsettling.
It’s no way for a Christian to go through life!
Through Easter, and the cross, God has given us the perfect example of reaching out to restore relationship.
He didn’t wait until we were ready to restore.
He didn’t wait until we deserved restoration.
He didn’t make us “go first,” and then wait to see if He was willing to restore.
No, while we were least deserving, God sent His Son to die for us. Through that reconciling act He opened the floodgates of restoration and relationship. He is our example!
Will you take the opportunity that Easter provides to reach out to your friends and loved ones in the same way that God reached out to you? Will you do whatever it takes to dispel those dark storm clouds of conflict and misunderstanding?
Honestly, all it costs to reach out to others in reconciliation is our own pride. Stiff-necked pride will stubbornly allow troubled relationships to fester and die. However, following our Lord’s example in humility will equip us to heal and restore those broken relationships.
I’m so thankful that God provided a way for restored relationship with Him through Easter and the resurrection of His Son.
I’m thankful as well, that I can follow His example and establish sweet and reconciled relationships with those people He’s brought into my life.
Easter is still special to me and reconciliation and relationship are what make it so special…
Even without a new hat!
Looking for fun ways to teach these trues to children? I have a great recipe for Resurrection Rolls in my Dinner and Discipleship recipe book!