Go Ahead … Live Your Easter

Go Ahead … Live Your Easter

“The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: “He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.” Now I have told you.’”

Now what?

I don’t know about you, but this past week has been one of the busiest I’ve had in a long time. Bible study, two family birthdays, lunch dates, dinner dates, Easter egg hunts, Easter baskets, Easter clothes, and all manner of preparation that surfaces between the cross and the empty tomb. Couple that with the fact that the Easter weekend is “on time” for a clergy family, and, well, you get the picture. And while not quite as chaotic as the Christmas season, this Easter pilgrimage has come pretty close.

Christ doesn’t mean for us to come to the cross with our harried approach at “doing” remembrance. He means for it to sink in … to root deep and to linger long and hard after our well-meaning attempts at fostering reflection have been packed away for another year.

There’s something a bit flawed about the way we remember. Something so seasonal and so liturgically tied to a calendar that doesn’t quite fit with what it means to live the crucified life—an always and “on time” daily walk that never strays too far from a bloody cross and an empty tomb. When we compartmentalize our faith by calendaring our remembrance, we often come to the end of it with a sense of confusion, emptiness, and a question or two that voices the conflict of our understanding.

Now what? Is this all I get for my well-intentioned efforts at reflection? Wasn’t I supposed to feel more? Remember more? Be more profoundly affected by my intentional pause for contemplation? Now what? What’s next? Where do I go from here, and will my “going” necessarily move me any closer to knowing Jesus and to being a woman who is intimately connected to his heart? If not, then why bother?

Good questions; ones that have surfaced for me this day. Not because I don’t see the sacred merit in calendared reflection. We need moments of intentional pause. Left to ourselves, we rarely take it upon ourselves to reflect and to remember. No, my questions about “what’s next?” have little to do with the formalities of my “doing” faith and more to do with the realities of my “living” faith.

Jesus’ followers mirrored some of my angst. If any group of people reserved the right to voice a “now what?” it was them. A couple of days of not knowing … of remembering and of smelling the stench of an egregious death … was enough to warrant a few questions. Weighed down by their grief and confusion, they came looking for answers. What they received would by the lynchpin to secure their continuing faith.

“‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’”

With those few words of angelic proclamation, a people renewed their hope. Their faith was “saved” because their Savior was saved … rescued from the sting of death and “going ahead” of them to prepare their hearts for his resurrected unveiling.

As it was for the disciples almost 2000 years ago, so it is for us.

You and I have a “go ahead” Jesus. A Savior who has “gone ahead” and sacrificially paved the way for our “go ahead.” Jesus Christ hasn’t left us alone with our questions. Instead, He’s drawn the map for the answers. He’s done so because he understands that, left to ourselves, we are but aimless wanderers, bungling our way through life, and tripping over the jagged edges that present their fierce resistance to our further understanding.

Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He’s “gone ahead” of us to prepare for us a place of everlasting permanence. He’s ever on the move, clearing our paths and extending his grace so that when we come to our Galilee, we, too, will see Him in his resurrected glory and will know in our hearts the certainty of an Easter’s boast.

“When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55).

Our “go ahead” Jesus holds the answer to that question. He continues to shape our understanding accordingly. Easter, 2000 years ago, should never be relegated to a calendared moment. Instead, it should be the heralded moment that we hold out as our candle to guide us as we go ahead in our following hard after our “go ahead” God.

There is abundant hope and life that comes with knowing that our Jesus has “gone ahead” and readied the road for our feet. He’s cleared the path, friends, and the hem of his garment is within reach … just ahead and close enough to touch if we are willing to move forward in his shadow.

What’s next? Now what?

He’s what.

Thus, may we all have the good and willing sense to fully tread and to fiercely trust as a passionate disciple in hot pursuit of the Savior.

He has risen; He is waiting. Go ahead now, from the empty tomb, and find your resurrected Lord. Today is the day of your salvation. Believe it, receive it, and get moving forward in the truth of Easter this week. You and I were created for such a journey. May God’s Peace be our portion as we go. As always,

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PS: My kids are on spring break this week, and I am in need of one also. Accordingly, I’m going to take some time to tend to my youngin’s and to my soul. I’ll be around to see you but won’t be here on a consistent basis. Blessed Easter walk to you all… from my home to yours! Shalom.

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43 Responses to Go Ahead … Live Your Easter

  1. Happy Easter, Elaine. He is risen indeed! Looks like you had a joyous day.

    I hope you get to regroup and recharge in the next few days. Enjoy the time with your kiddos.

    We’re heading back home tomorrow from Wilmington, NC, so we’ll be passing by your neck of the woods. I’ll send a holler and hug as we journey by.

    Easter blessings,
    Kelli

  2. Praying you will have a wonderful, blessed week with your family! You definitely deserve a break. :O)

    Love,
    Beth

  3. I always enjoy reading your thoughts! And the picture of your family is just precious! I hope you have a blessed time with them this week during spring break!

    See you later!

    Marilyn

  4. Happy Easter, Elaine! I love the thoughts you have shared here… very similar to theme of the sermon at my church this morning.

  5. Precious message, beautiful family photo and I love you. Enjoy your family time. We’ll be here when you return.

    Blessed Resurrection Day! He is risen as He said. Praise JESUS!

  6. Boy did I need to read that!!!

    I’m passionately go ahead to find my Resurrected Lord, while a miriad of voice beckon me to sulk, pout, doubt, look back, loose hope, give up.

    I press on for my Risen Saviour!

  7. Wow. You pen your words so beautifully. I have had some tough questions roaming in my mind this week. It’s been painful to think of the crucifixion. How would I explain this, make sense of it to an unbeliever? Could I do it justice? Could I do Him justice? This year we didn’t shop for Easter. The budget is tight enough being between paychecks for Joe’s business. But that was just an excuse. It didn’t feel right. This was a humble Easter, raw with emotions. Now what? You penned it-Now Him!!

    I am so excited to tell you our ladies leadership is looking into starting a Bible study at a rehab place for women. God laid on my heart last fall about reaching outside the church walls in ministry. I have been slow to respond. I did coordinate and lead the community Esther bible study-half way done and going well. Now this door is opening. YES God! Pray for us!!

    In His Graces~Pamela

  8. Hope you have a wonderful week with the kids Elaine. Will you have some “down” time. I think not! HA! Thanks for all your family does for our church. You all are indeed a blessing to us all.

  9. Beautiful cross! Beautiful family! Blessed Easter greetings to you and yours!

    How grateful I am that on this “go ahead” journey I neither have to walk alone or forge my own path!

    Enjoy your “spring break”!

    Christi crux est mea lux
    Denise

  10. Elaine, the truth of this writing has held me this past weekend. I need more time to ponder Easter. I find in the past I have been excited about the Christmas Christ and celebrate the risen Christ, but what about the Crucified Christ?

    I have often just been ‘doing’ remembrance. Although the calendar moves on, my heart needs more time.

    Rediscovering my resurrected Lord,
    Joy
    PS. Your family picture is beautiful – precious hearts.

  11. Absolutely going ahead, dear Elaine! A wonderful message for me–for us, this day after Easter.

    Enjoy your Spring Break (my kids just finished theirs and are back in school this morning!).

  12. As I read this post [the day after Easter] I can really relate to [a woman found] who also commented on your post today. She wrote:

    “I’m passionately go ahead to find my Resurrected Lord, while a miriad of voice beckon me to sulk, pout, doubt, look back, loose hope, give up.”

    I’m right there with her this morning. I had to say the words out loud early before I began in prayer, ” I will chose JOY today if it kills me.”

    I visited with my son and daughter in law at their church yesterday. Every seat was filled for both services and about 12 people came to Christ as the end of the service that we attended. THAT is what I must reflect upon – the continuing of lost souls finding not only the Savior – but the new resurrected Lord of their lives. I don’t know those new converts by name – but God does. I must now pray for them to GROW in Him and His Word.

    Thanks for the profound post! Spend all the time you need with your kids and family and with HIM because as you said, “HE’S WHAT”!!

    Looking UPward and Choosing JOY,
    Stephanie
    [Kneeling in Prayer]

  13. Hope you enjoy your time off this week Elaine.

    My thoughts too have questioned “what now?” after Easter. The time up and until Easter have been so harried at work with preparing bulletins, Easter Egg hunts, breakfasts, and the list goes on and one. I really tried hard not to get caught up in the hoopla and ENJOY and contemplate the gift of Easter. I woke up this morning with the prayer in my heart that I would not loose the joy that Easter brings. That it would last and envelope every part of my soul and life. Easter didn’t end yesterday, it just began and continues on for all those who believe in Christ. May we never forget the sacrifice. The ressurection gift is the only thing that keeps me getting out of bed every day! Praise God for his gift!!

    Love you Elaine!!

  14. Hey Elaine, great insight and raw connection through your writing. Thanks for sharing and giving us some of your heart. Blessings, john lee

  15. Happy Easter, Elaine. What gorgeous flowers, girl! Nice photo of the fam…enjoy your time with them.

  16. Smart girl!

    You know … I'm a huge "power of the cross fan". It consumed me long ago, and it consumes me still. It's my one legitimate boast, and that for which I live. Easter comes & goes … but not so our Savior; not so resurrection's glory. That's a 365 days a year celebration. Amazing power; amazing grace.

    Hugs,
    Kathleen

  17. Wonderful post…I am planning on living my Easter! I spent much needed QUIET time with Him alone this morning after our Spring Break!!I love when He reveals things to me that I overlook in His Word.

    Beautiful pics of your cross–we do one too—and your precious family! Enjoy your time off!

    Hugs,
    Susan

  18. Elaine, love the phrase and idea of our “go ahead Jesus” and our “go ahead God”. My nephew Aaron and a group from his church are headed to Argentina today for a week of ministry. Pray with me that our go ahead God will prepare the way for them. Thanks!

    By the way, what a great family pic! Enjoy your spring break!

  19. What an incredible message here my friend! You’ve beautifully given words to something I’ve often thought following Easter.

    Love that photo of your precious family. (Brennan sure did enjoy meeting them!) Enjoy Spring break together!

    Blessings,
    Tracy

  20. What a beautiful family pic, Elaine…am praying for a new camera to catch those moments!
    You guys have a much later spring break than we do here..enjoy!

  21. Enjoy your time with family:) Thank you for such a moving post(as always–you encourage!)

  22. I understand the busyness of which you speak. And I so understand the need to have my own Easter constantly before me. That’s what I need. That ‘s the only thing that I need!

    What a lovely Easter picture! You have a very beautiful family! You’re a blessed woman of God, and you deserve your time. Take care, enjoy, rest much!

    In the Love of Jesus,

    Andrea

  23. As always Elaine, your words lifted my heart. Thanks for the shot in the arm as you reminded me we can continue BOLDLY on this journey. God bless you and your brood as you pause this week. May you all be replenished!

  24. Such a beautifully written post—the words “Go Ahead” now have deeper meaning for me. Thank you.

  25. Wow, you have such a gift for getting to the heart of the matter. This was the perfect devotion for me to read today. Thank you!

  26. Yes, sometimes it is confusing… when you celebrate the birth, death and resurrection of our Lord everyday… well, the calendared events can be kind of a let down… they don’t compare to the intimate moments we share with our Lord because we choose to… not because we have to…

    Have a blessed respite my friend… I look forward to gleaning from your hiatus!

  27. Happy Easter….what a joyful da. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Hope you will come back soon and meet baby Jack, our miracle.

  28. What now…… LIVE……Calvary was intended to give us LIFE and LIFE more abundant…….. HE did the dying……. HE wants us to live!

    Great post…………

  29. wifeforthejourney:

    You have raised the great question for these days AFTER Easter: Christ is risen, now what?

    These are all resurrection days, and yet how easy is it to loose sight of what the Lord has done, is doing and has planned for the future.

    I’m glad I have you to share this time with; and I’m looking forward to our last Bible study session tonight!

    Love,
    Billy

  30. We have a “go ahead” Jesus! Yes! I love it!

    I hope you have a wonderful spring break with your family!

    I have an award for you on my blog!

    Love,
    Joye

  31. Greetings Mrs. Elaine:) I love the post and the Easter pic of your fam. Looks like a great time on Easter Sunday morning:)

    Blessings,

    katiegfromtennessee

  32. Hi Elaine! Thanks for stopping by my blog! Have we met before? I have some friends from N. Carolina and my father-in-law went to Asbury. My husband was actually born in Kentucky. Seems like there’s lots of connections! Have a blessed day!

  33. Have a wonderful time with your family. May you finds that He refills your soul with all the refreshing it needs. He is all we need.
    Love ya girl

  34. You guys look so fabulous!
    Enjoy the family this week. These days are fun….no big responsibilities….just freedom.

    Love those.

  35. What a beautiful family! AND a beautiful post, as always! May we walk worthy of the calling we have received!

  36. What a beautiful Easter and family time; hope you’ve also enjoyed this week’s break soaking up more good times.
    p.s. I did answer your question on my blog, but feel free to link back to me~thanks!

  37. Love the family picture!

    I wish I’d read your post before we took off for the week; I might have used my time away more intentionally. God is always gracious though, and even though I wasn’t as mindful as I might have been, our week without cell reception or internet did provide me with some reflective, contemplative time. And we got to be around many of our favorite souls which is a blessing of another sort.

    I hope your time was refreshing and fun and I look forward to ‘seeing’ you when you return.

    Blessings,
    Mary

  38. Hey Mrs. Elaine:)

    Thanks for your concern and your prayers:) I do need all the prayer I can get! The Lord gets me through every day. I would love to connect with you all at the end of June! My e-mail is lukeandkatie@comcast.net, now that I have a computer again-PRAISE!-I can check my e-mails again:)

    Blessings,

    katiegfromtennessee

    k