It was a week ago from today-- Easter Sunday. Many acknowledge the holiday, but we all celebrate it differently. Whether it's eating chocolate and hunting eggs here in the USA, rolling colorfully designed, boiled eggs down hills in Scotland, silencing the church bells for 3 days in France, or taking part in a city's huge BBQ and treasure hunt in Argentina. Even here in the South we celebrate in our own way. Many of us dress in our all-time best to go to church, then afterwards enjoy a meal with family at the dining room table.
But as we celebrate yearly on this special and sacred day, so many times we miss the point. The story. For those church-goers, we miss it because we simply know it by heart. For those holiday church attenders, you miss it because you're day is simply about following a cultural tradition. For those who don't attend church but indulge in chocolate and search for eggs, you miss it because well, the story is simply not what you're looking for and you're indulging in material things.
You see, the Easter story should be the reason you celebrate another year. The Easter story should be the reason you feel loved on Valentine's Day regardless of whether you have a special someone or not. The Easter story should be the reason you joyfully acknowledge new life in the Spring. The Easter story should be the reason you set fireworks off in celebration of the gift of freedom on the Fourth of July. The Easter story should be the reason you can be thankful at Thanksgiving. The Easter story should be the reason you can rejoice at Christmas. The Easter story should be the reason you travel to the nations!
DON'T MISS THE EASTER STORY: THE STORY OF UNCONDITIONAL, NEVER-ENDING, UNFAILING LOVE!
Love is universal. I've done my fair share of traveling, and one common denominator among all the people I have met along the way is the longing for love.
So I ask you, what is love?
Some may say it's two people in a fairytale romance. Some may say it's adopting a child. Some may say it's the thing holding families together in hard times. Some may say it's a lifelong friend. I'm sure there are other examples of love as well that I have failed to mention, but is any of that true love? Or are they mere examples of it?
In remembering Easter Sunday, I wish to remind or enlighten you to what LOVE really is. Who it is. And why every human on the face of the planet longs for it. You ready?
GOD is LOVE.
LOVE is patient, kind, content, humble, meek, polite, selfless, nice, helpful, truthful, enduring, believing, hoping, bearing, and everlasting.
In the Garden of Eden, God was patient with Adam and Eve after they had sinned. When God flooded the Earth, he was kind and saved humanity through Noah. God was content with Abraham's faith resulting in saving Isaac from death by his father's hand. Not to jump too far ahead, but God indeed humbled Himself when He sent His only Son to this Earth to die and raise again in hopes to have a relationship with you and me. Jesus, both fully God and man, was meek as time after time we know He allowed people to crowd His space, follow after Him, and ask for His constant attention. Jesus was always polite noticing and healing those who would have never even been accepted by us. To encourage and guide us, God selflessly sent the Holy Spirit upon His children once Jesus had departed. While hard times and judgment from the world came upon the early church and disciples, God was nice and used everything meant for bad for furthering His Kingdom - our inheritance. The promises God has left us with in His word are not just helpful but truthful. God endured sacrifice believing in His people hoping we would follow faithfully in order to bear His purpose until we came into His everlasting presence. THIS IS LOVE. THIS IS THE THEME OF THE EASTER STORY.
So why travel? Why take the gospel to the nations? Why climb up mountains to see the breath-taking view? Why stand as waves crash at your feet? Why love even when it hurts?
BECASUE HE DID.
God traveled down from heaven, walked the valleys, was tempted on the mountain top, walked on the waves, and loved us to the point of an excruciating, physical death. That's why we LOVE. That's why we TRAVEL. That's why we celebrate EASTER.