Yesterday, we celebrated Easter with friends at church and then over dinner. I baked a ham with a brown sugar and mustard glaze. Our girl made a berry sorbet and chocolate cake.
Last night I added split peas, barley and a ham bone to a crock pot for soup today.
But I’m not celebrating Easter joy because of the savory scent wafting from my crock pot (though I’m thankful).
I celebrate because Jesus lives which is the reason for Easter joy.
Jesus lives and he heard my prayer to help me find my confession. God showed me “the beauty and the ugliness” in my heart. But His Spirit did so gently and without condemnation (Romans 8:1).
I confess and He forgives because He lives.
And this past week, God kept reminding me through cheery yellow daffodils and pink roses in a glass vase, He sees me. He knows my delight over his creation.
“Joy is the serious business of Heaven.” – C.S. Lewis
My heart hears the whisper of heaven’s song now.
Jesus still changes the hearts and lives of children, men, and women who seek Him for relationship and forgiveness (link to excellent Timothy Keller podcast).
Yesterday I heard people sing a new song because of Jesus as I saw them being baptized and heard a little bit of their stories.
Because Jesus lives, I know all will be well (in an ultimate sense). Not necessarily easy but it will be well as Julian of Norwich observed.
I enjoy new life now in Christ, which is a little taste of the feast I’ll experience in heaven.
Biblical joy doesn’t depend on pleasant circumstances although such joy can also be part of happy events.
I know some of you are in a season of grief now.
So I share Kim Gunderson’s words about an unexpected loss, hoping her story gives you permission to process your grief with God.
“Maybe in the silence of that Saturday [after his death] the disciples remembered stories Jesus told and things he had done…For on that long-ago Saturday, his body may have lay silently in a tomb, but his ministry had not ended. God was still at work. I began to wonder if God did his greatest work when silence screamed loudest?….
Was it possible in the silence, as the sounds of this world ceased that his presence was more tenderly known and more keenly felt?….
I continue to hear God’s gentle whisper, wooing me near. In the silence of Saturday, I press into the depth of love he has for me, even to the point of death. In the silence of Saturday, I offer my own hallelujahs, while I wait for the promise of Easter and the precious sight of my sweet girl twirling before the risen King.” – Kim Gunderson [added emphasis]
Read more of Kim’s post “The Sorrow & Silence of Saturday,” about a time when silence screamed loudest in her life here.
How are you practicing Easter joy today?
(Subscribers, I’m working on a post about how Jesus invites us to test his claims about who He is. It will be based on J.B. Phillips book Your God is Too Small.)
This is the 8th post in our exploring Joy Series.
Earlier in the series, we learned from joy mentors, Sara Frankl and Kay Warren. Both women shared in their respective books their journey toward choosing joy. The reality of Easter and Jesus in their lives is what made it possible for them to choose joy.
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Also linking with Anita of #InspiredMondays</>
And also linking with wise Holley