50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven.[p] 52 And they worshiped him, and[q] returned to Jerusalem with great joy; 53 and they were continually in the temple blessing God.[r]
We are in the season of Eastertide, and it is a glorious time to be church together. Christ is risen! We can celebrate the hope of the resurrection with joy in our hearts!
But, I would also say that the season of Easter also brings challenge to the church. For, it is also the time that we get to wrestle and explore what the resurrection means to us as individual Christians and as the church today. Different denominations espouse different understandings of the resurrection. And, different churches within the denominations understand the meaning of the resurrection differently. And, even more? Individual disciples experience the power of the resurrection differently … and all of us are influenced by our experience, perspective and the world in which we live.
For me, the resurrection is a part of our faith story that carries deep and practical influence on my daily life and choices. I understand the power of Christ’s resurrection in that death is not the final word and that I can live my life as God intends, and follow God’s will upon my life … without the deep anxiety that a life lived in the fear of death can bring.
Christ’s resurrection frees me to live a life without the end of my life painting the entirety of my life. The resurrection frees me to make choices and decisions that focus on life and the living. The resurrection helps me to live a life that is filled with hope and the faith that death does not have the final answer or say in life. The resurrection guides and encourages me to live in the path of Jesus and God’s love for me.
I look forward to being in Eastertide with you and exploring together how we understand the resurrection and how our understanding helps us to live a life pursuing the heart of God.
Your sister in Christ,