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30 April & 1 May 2022 (Pastoral Page) EASTER’S OVER, SO WHAT NOW?

By Dn Leong Pei De, Victor

Two weeks ago, during the Easter Sunday sermon, Ps Beh spoke briefly about a reality that I thoroughly identify with, the reality of Monday. While this was hardly the main point of his sermon, it struck a chord because I believe this may be the lived experience for many of us. Cru staff Patreeya Prasertvit described it this way “We’ve prepared our hearts in anticipation of Easter. We reflect on the cross and its significance. We feel the long, heavy pause between Good Friday and Easter Sunday- waiting for the discovery of an empty tomb and a risen saviour. And then it comes. He comes! And then it’s Monday.”

I’m not sure about you, but Monday blues are real! There might be a feeling of dread in starting the work week. Some of us live instead with an escapist drive towards yet another weekend. Perhaps after the Easter weekend, we are lulled back into “normal life” once again. Finally, back on social media / Netflix / online shopping / eating larger meals etc. We treat Easter like it’s the destination, when it’s really just the starting of the adventure!

You see, after the first Easter Sunday, life could not be the same for the disciples. Jesus appeared to them, miraculously and alive. He spoke into their doubt and ate with them. But it wasn’t the end of the story, and everyone went back to live their lives after heaving a monumental sigh of relief. Jesus promised them the gift of the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49). He commissioned them to go into the world and proclaim the gospel (Mark 16: 14-15; Matt 28:18-20). The disciples now had a mission that they could be absolutely sold out for because Jesus came back to life, they came alive again! Read through the book of Acts for yourself and be amazed again at the boldness of the Apostles to proclaim Jesus and His resurrection even though they were “uneducated, common men” (Acts 4:13).

Live victoriously. Daily living can sometimes be described as taking two steps forward and a step back (or maybe three!). You are certainly not alone in feeling this way. This is the theological paradox of the ‘already and not yet’. Simply put, we are ‘already’ in the Kingdom, but we do ‘not yet’ see it in its glory. So while there are moments when we try and fail, we continue to trust in the truths made plain in the Bible, and obey the commands written. We are reminded that we have already been freed of sin (Rom 6:7), sin has no dominion over us (Rom 6:14) and our lives are hidden with Christ (Col 3:3). Remember, that our God is the one who works in us (Phil 2:12-13), and we can through the Holy Spirit in us put to death the deeds of the body (Rom 8:13).

Live with purpose. It may not be every day that we have the chance to share our faith with a pre-believer. We can however, impact the lives of the people we are closest to by living a life of integrity and strength while building deep relationships with people in our community. We are after all called to be the salt and light of the world (Matt 5:14-16). Certainly take time to know this Jesus and be prepared to share your faith when called upon (1 Pet 3:15). Finally, be familiar with the Holy Spirit- God in us and ready to follow after Him. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to the disciples, and likewise we have the Holy Spirit in us today (Gal 4:6) to guide us into all truth, to grant us wisdom and power and to enable us to live fruitful lives.

We were challenged to “go into our lives with the Sunday heart and mind”. Indeed we can live on into Monday and beyond with the same spirit and joy of that Easter Sunday because Christ has been resurrected, our sins are forgiven and this God will come back again for us regardless. Remember, Easter was a tipping point. After that day, there’s no more ‘business as usual’.

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