Today is Easter Monday, the day following one of the biggest Christian holidays of the year. Yesterday, hundreds of people cheered and worshiped in church with my family for our risen Savior. We sang songs and raised our arms overwhelmed at the feeling that our heavenly Father sent his only son to die on the cross for our sins, and He beat death by rising again three days later. We share Easter greetings and Easter prayers and Easter traditions and Easter joy. And then, usually worn out by the big day of family gathering and fun, we fall exhausted into our beds and sleep in our Easter peace.
The next day, today, we all wake up and what happens? What do we do now? For many of us who are already believers, Easter is a great celebration and a nice reminder of what we believe, but we are typically right back to life as usual the next day. For some, perhaps this Easter was a trigger reigniting or starting their faith flame, and they choose to take today to fan that flame – beginning a new habit of devotions or prayer. For all too many, Easter is just a season to buy their children gifts, dress up nice for church, and enjoy a nice meal with family. One thing I know many households will be doing today, if they haven’t already done it, is making egg salad or deviled eggs with the colored Easter eggs left from the holiday’s events. That is what I was doing last night while trying to decide what to write about for my blog today.
I thought that I was inspired when I started shelling our eggs. My thoughts were stirring on the forgiveness that Easter brings us and how these eggs that were colored by little hands and then cracked through many sessions of hiding and finding were now being cleaned and washed to be made into something new. I pictured the colored shells coming off and the eggs being white as snow underneath, much like Jesus’ death and resurrection makes us white as snow in God’s eyes. It would be a great metaphor for a blog. However, that is not what I found. What I found what this:
The eggs were all discolored from dye that had bled through. The shells had taken chunks of the egg whites away with them. Some had completely come apart in the process. They weren’t white – they weren’t perfect – they weren’t the metaphor I was looking for … or were they? Are we more like these eggs while we live in this broken world? God’s forgiveness makes us as white as snow in His eyes, but to each other, are we any different? Do we strive to be better? Do we try harder to live more perfect lives when we are reminded of the sacrifice Jesus made for us at Easter so many years ago? Or do we just go back to living like we did the day before, making little or big mistakes, being hypocritical in our words and our actions, not making the changes we can to be different, to be better, to be more like what God wants from us, like what He hopes for us?
Standing in the church hallways after service, two of my family members were rude to each other when we were deciding where to go for lunch. They weren’t patient and kind as Jesus instructs us to be. That afternoon when my son had stepped on the same plant several times while finding eggs, I was snippy with him about being careful of my flowers. I was not loving and forgiving as Jesus is with me. Last night I was frustrated with my husband for something completely beyond his control. I didn’t show the goodness and trust that I should as a child of God. This is all on Easter. Here we are, one day removed, and just how well are you doing walking in the ways of our Lord?
God washed away all our sins, but those stains bleed through to our skins. Our sins take chunks of our shells away and leave us vulnerable to temptation and whispers from Satan. We are not always better to each other, for each other, in spite of each other. But Romans 5:8 tells us that “God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” He knew that even after such a great sacrifice, we would continue to walk in our wasteful ways, and He still sent His son for us. He still wanted the discolored and misshapen eggs that we are.
Today, tomorrow, the next day, and the day after that, I am going to try to be the white egg that He sees me as. I will fail, and He will forgive me, but I will keep trying. Because I believe that is why I am here, to continue to strive to walk in His truth, on Easter and every other day of the year.
Stained and striving,