Easter is a time to not only prune and weed our gardens, but also our lives. It’s time to plow under the hard, crusted shell of indifference, apathy and devil-may-care attitudes that deprive us of knowing the full joy of the Christian life.
Easter is a time to feed our hungry, impoverished souls after seasons of doubts and soul-searching experiences.
Easter is a time to resume or begin minimum disciplines of the Christian life such as daily prayer and Bible reading, regular attendance in a Sunday school class and worship service, personal witness and tithing.
Each year as I re-read the events about Jesus during Holy Week, there is always something that jumps out and forces me to ponder anew what God wants to say to me. This year it was John 18:37-38, which describes part of the dialogue Jesus had with Pontius Pilate. When Pilate asks whether Jesus is the King of the Jews, Jesus replied, “For this I was born and for this cause have I come into the world, to bear witness to the truth.” And so he did during his short 33 years. What God’s Holy Spirit made me see for the first time was the fact that all followers of Christ can say the same thing: “For this I was born and for this cause have I come into the world, to bear witness to the truths as we have experienced them about God.” Wow! What a profound realization.
Jesus bore witness to God’s providence, which can enable us not only to cope and endure but also to be victorious over our trials and tribulations, changing tragedies into triumphs, which he did on Easter. Jesus bore witness to God’s power even over death, and we can rise to walk in newness of life.
To witness to the truths about God, we must witness to what we are to believe about God and what duty He requires of us. Are we bearers of God’s truths when we conduct our business, make sales and buy goods, establish fees for clients and patients or try to beat our competition?
It is one thing for us to pray that God is good, his mercy is everlasting and his truth endures forever. It is another to put feet to our prayer and to live them out.
May we never forget the truth: If God was not absent during the trials and crucifixion of Jesus, neither is God absent when we feel betrayed, abandoned, forsaken, spat upon, used, abused and profaned, even crucified through no fault of our own.
With God’s promised presence, let us stand for unpopular truths, no matter the consequences, for God will always have the last word. When you feel ready to throw in the towel, go read the words of that great hymn, Once to Every Man and Nation, especially the last verse:
Though the cause of evil prosper, yet ‘tis truth alone is strong,
Though her portion be the scaffold, and upon the throne be wrong,
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow keeping watch above his own. Amen.
THE REV. GENE NORRIS IS A PRESBYTERIAN PASTOR IN AUGUSTA.