We live in a most privileged time.
We live through another Easter season, knowing the outcome before it ever begins.
So, we tend to focus on the positive, the yet to come rising....the resurrection of Jesus, rather than the cross. Relatively few gatherings to focus on Christ's death, but extra services in larger spaces to accomodate the people coming to enter into the celebration of Jesus' "great gettin' up morning."
So many eager people, focused on the rising, that many were wishing each other a happy easter on Friday. Bonnets, eggs, dresses, food, flowers....reaching for just one more way to celebrate and fill the air with joy.
Now, this is not an idea offered with a wagging index finger, but a gentle call to all of us to a more balanced heart.
Fact is, God has made us to get excited about and enjoy these earthly times of joy. We are made to party hardy.
Jesus had that same makeup..."who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross."
But, it strikes me that, though He already knew He would rise - and had promised that to his disciples - it was the joy of being in the presence of His Father forever, heaven itself that propelled him with courageous, unflinching steps - forward into the worst moments ever endured.
It can be that way for us too...
So this Easter...embrace the cross, enthuse over His resurrection and all that it guarantees, and keep looking forward to that forever celebration, in the presence of our Father, where all will be gathered, and the dinner will be...well, beyond anything yet...
...and the music, and galactic fireworks, and angelic processions...of that time will be the exclamation mark to the very long statement God has been making.
Let the anticipation of it all move you forward today.
Happy, happy, happy easter!