1 Reason Why Easter is Our Story too

 

Across the street, my neighbors seem to spend all of their time with little shovels in hand. They worked hard burying things as leaves fell from trees and grass turned brown.  I watched them, but chose not to play undertaker in my own yard. I preferred to stay warm and do something that produced more immediate gratification. Now, two seasons later, my yard still lies dead and brown, but theirs is a riot of new life. Red and yellow and purple flowers celebrate. In my yard there was no death and burial of bulbs last fall and there is no new life in sight now.

Red and Violoet

I enjoy listening with my eyes to my neighbors flowers, assembled like a choir singing a resurrection hymn. Too bad my yard is not singing along. I chose to avoid the discomfort of burying bulbs. I don’t remember how I spent those hours. My choices didn’t lead to a yard filled with life.

            Death, Resurrection, Easter, My story

My neighbors played undertaker in the yard last fall.

Because of Jesus, Easter is my story too. Like tulips and daffodils my life has many seasons of dying back. Like them, mysterious forces beyond me, dictate that new hope and new life can spring from cold dark winter days of loss, if I embrace the death and burial when it is time.

The New Testament talks quite a bit about the fact that Christians’ lives are a repeated echo of Christ’s death and resurrection. I love the idea that I have a piece of God’s rise-from-the-dead power. I would be happy to skip the sharing in Christ’s suffering and death part though.

If I could see my whole life the way God sees it, it would all be good news. He is a master gardener. He uses every loss I experience to clear away debris left over from before he made me a new creation, to plant me just the right number of inches under the surface.

Every time I lose something I thought I needed, he shows me that idols don’t have the power of resurrection.

 

He frees me from dead drudgery of trying to keep the rules so that I can manipulate the results.

Every winter I wait for Easter and know it will come.

 

Every time there is something to grieve I wait, and new life stirs and grows and blooms again. I am learning to live in constant hope, carefree because I trust that he is always bringing resurrection.

Philippians 3:9-11

“I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness. I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering,   and go all the way with him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it.”(MSG)

 John 12:24

“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.” (MSG)

Also: Enjoy this Easter video. I did!

http://emmascrivener.net/2014/04/bread-of-heaven-an-easter-video/

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4 Responses to 1 Reason Why Easter is Our Story too

  1. emma April 16, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

    Thanks Beth – this is a beautiful blog! Looking forward to reading more.

    • Beth Ratzlaff April 17, 2014 at 9:17 am #

      Thanks, Emma. I’m glad you like it.

  2. Valorie April 16, 2014 at 11:29 am #

    Beth, I’ve seen this Easter video! How did you become acquainted with it? Emma and her husband, Glen, regularly encourage me with the good news of Jesus–Him for us, with us, in us–and we in Him! Whether or not we planted those bulbs the season before (and I didn’t either), one thing we know for sure: Jesus, the Master Gardener and Author of Life, has hugged us to Himself as He dove down into death, and has carried us out of the (now empty) tomb into Life in Him! “He The Lord for we the Least; Him devoured so we can feast!”

    • Beth Ratzlaff April 16, 2014 at 11:58 am #

      Valorie, it is such fun that you know Emma. What a fun small-worldish connection! I found it through a link posted by a mutual friend of ours on facebook. I love your comment. What a succinct summary of the gospel.

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