By Rev. Dr. Dawn Weaks
Pastor, Connection Christian Church
On this glorious Easter weekend, Protestant and Catholic Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (Our Orthodox family will celebrate on April 24). At Easter, we are invited to experience a spiritual renewal in our weary souls, like the renewing of spring time for our parched land. Through the timeless story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, God gives us a kind of holy car wash on our hearts and minds, sending us out renewed again. After all, from time to time we all need some healing and a fresh beginning.
That’s because occasionally, as theologian Wayne Oates wrote in When Religion Gets Sick, our religion indeed can get sick. Our beliefs can get distorted, like eyesight that needs correction. Our spiritual arteries can get clogged with stuff God never intended to be in us. But the gospel tells us that Jesus came so that we would have abundant, overflowing lives that are truly free (John 8:32 and 10:10)! How abundantly and freely are you living this Easter weekend? If you came to me for a spiritual check-up, here’s what I would ask:
Are you increasingly counting the blessings in your everyday life? Are you experiencing more gratitude than grumpiness?
Are you praying as a way to let go of things you can’t control? Are you able to ask God for help often?
Do you have shame following you around like a cloud? Or have you received the forgiveness God offers you? Have you, to quote theologian Paul Tillich, accepted that you are accepted?
Do you find yourself giving others grace easily, because you know how much you yourself need it?
Do you have a congregation that you are connected to in meaningful ways, or are you on your own? (You’re invited to Connection Christian, by the mall, at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Sunday!).
Can you be content to listen and let what you think go unsaid from time to time?
Have you changed your mind on something in the last year because you felt led to grow in a new direction?
Do you have people in your life that you help, not because of what they can do for you, but just because it’s fulfilling to help?
These are some of the ways we can know that our faith is vibrant and healthy. I pray you are renewed in your faith this Eastertide, for the world needs followers of Jesus who are truly set free.