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CHURCH CORNER: Try attending another Sunday
By Elaine Swigart
So, Easter is over and many Christians will sigh and not think about church again until Christmas. Our churches were filled to overflowing Sunday and we were thrilled to share the Easter message with all of them. But, in order to be an Easter person – one who lives the resurrection – we must decide at some time to live it every day, not just on Sunday, or on a few Sundays a year.
Being an Easter person is really quite easy. One decides to follow Jesus. Of course, there is more to it than that. We are, quite literally resurrected every day. For every day that we wake, we Christians must decide again to live the sacrificial, sacramental, loving life that Christ taught and modeled for us. We confess that we have failed and pick up Christ’s cross again and start walking the path of Jesus. The starting is easy; it is keeping on the path that is the hard part. It is a choice every day.
But, it cannot be something that you do alone either; the joy in being a disciple of Christ must be shared. First, it is shared with the family of God, and then it is shared with the world. If you truly are an Easter person, then your life is somehow different. And it shows.
You live more fully. You pray – a lot. You visit the sick; you care for others; you sing songs of praise to God; you give of your time, wealth and gifts so that others might truly live. And, you pass on the Easter message. We believe that we die to ourselves so that we can live for others. Jesus died because he was killed by the same evil that kills everything good that it can in our world. But, we believe, we Easter people, that God raised him up and he is alive – more alive than we can imagine.
We also believe that he calls us to die, too. It is not always a physical death, although there are still those around the world who are dying because of their faith; but it is always a spiritual death. We die to ourselves, our own pain, our own egos, our own will, our own need to be first. Then we put on Christ.
This is one of the loveliest metaphors in scripture for our journey with Christ. We put on Christ – as clothing. We become more and more like him. We change from selfish, egotistical, self-serving people, to those who love with Christ’s love, who give with the offering of Christ, who share with Christ’s passion, who become servants because Christ served us. Eventually, others see Christ when they see us.
I ask you to try the church again on some nonEaster Sunday. Meet those who are walking with Jesus on a daily basis. Find there a home, a family and the real Christ – the one who died, who was raised, who lives and walks around our planet in the hearts and spirits of his faithful disciples.