Overnight, the first of the blooms on the Easter lily bowed its head to die.
Passion Week has ended; I don’t want mine to.
I want the Resurrection Day to be the start of something big. Oh it was. The resurrection was colossal, cosmic — the biggest thing to hit Planet Earth. But I need continued, colossal change in me, long after the leftover Easter ham is consumed.
I want to live an audacious, Passion life that reflects that fact that I have a Savior who lives.
I need Jesus.
I pull a single dying bloom from the lily on the kitchen table. Three more remain.
The fragrance of these trumpet-shaped blooms will linger for days. But by next week, the scent will be a fading memory. You know, we could leave our Easter celebrating on the dinner table, next to dying lilies.
It happens. And not just to the once-a-year worshippers who checked out churches yesterday. It also happens to the people who return to the sanctuary every Sunday to sing, to lead nursery, to stuff bulletins, to pick up Cheerios between the pews. I might smugly think I’m immune. I am not. But I am this: Forgetful. I forget about Passion.
We forget because we’re human — not because we’re failures.
We’re prone to crumble in times like these: When the bill is overdue. When the errant child won’t come home. When the doctor gives the diagnosis that you feared. When your husband splits.
Me? I crumble over far lesser things. I panic over lost keys. I cringe over stubbed toes. I fret over things like to-do lists and unfolded laundry.
I forget there’s a Risen Savior. I forget that, as my husband reminds me gently, “God’s Got It.”
I need more Passion, not only in my week, but in my year.
It’s true. I need to reorient my vision on Christ.
But Jennifer, haven’t you said that before?
Um yeah. Good point, friend.
Let me confess: I have learned that I am in the constant process of becoming. I am caught between who I once was, and who I will be.
Tozer once wrote: “We have been snared in the coils of a spurious logic which insists that if we have found Him we need no more seek Him.”
Maybe in the seeking and ever-seeking, my vision will improve. I will relearn to orient my vision on this Master, who loves the weak and unlovable. Only then will my yielded heart stop yearning for idols and second-rate saviors. I will remember again that I need not redeem myself through success, moral achievement, or someone’s flimsy praise, which I often desperately seek.
I need more Easter every day.
As a child, I sang this song throughout the Lenten season: “Every morning is Easter morning from now. Every day’s Resurrection Day the past is over and gone.”
From here on out, I want to live every morning like it’s Easter morning. I also want to live like it’s Good Friday. When I see Jesus dying on the cross to make a wretch his treasure, I can’t help but love Him more.
Jesus paid the enormity of my debt, giving up his spirit for the love of my two-faced heart.
On the third day He rose from the grave, in the greatest triumph of all time. That’s worth the audiacious praise of a life yielded.
And, so, once again, I surrender to a living God. This ransomed woman dies daily at the feet of a crucified Savior — and at the open mouth of His empty tomb.
The world has never known another god like this — a God who loves sinners.
I don’t have to climb a moral ladder for salvation. I don’t get to pull myself up there. I’m tossing away my bootstraps in the garbage, next to the Easter candy wrappers. When I’m tempted to pull them out again, I will apply my “Get-Over-Yourself-Ology” — a simple theology I’ve adopted for reorienting the eyes on Christ. It goes like this: “Get over yourself, Jennifer.”
I am becoming. And He is still waiting, as I stumble my way Home.
He is Risen,
not only in April, but in June and October and December.
He is Risen
at midnight and noon — and even at 3:52 a.m.
He is Risen
when we feel like singing at the top of our lungs,
and even when we don’t.
He is Risen
when we need him most —
and also in those heels-dug-in moments
when we think we don’t Him at all.
He is Risen
— not for a day,
but for EVER.
I need a Savior like that.
And thanks be to Jesus, I have one.
Writing in community with Michelle and Jennifer …