Inspiration

By Reggie Connell

About 16 years ago I worked at a sales office with 50 employees. They were good people, mostly Christians, but not too many churchgoers among them.

I remember a sales associate named Michelle. She was a young mom with two kids. It was about a week from Easter, and she was discussing her children’s holiday plans.

“They have the entire week off, and then they go back to school the following Monday,” I recall her saying. “So I guess that means Easter falls on a Sunday this year.”

I thought she was joking, but she wasn’t.

Michelle was a good mother, and a good person, but religion was not on her radar. She was not anti-Christian or anti-anything for that matter… just a single mom focused on her kids. She talked about Easter egg hunts, Easter baskets and the parties she was invited to on Easter Sunday.

Michelle is someone you would want to visit your church, but how would she be treated if she did? Would she be loved, served and blessed? Or would she be judged, preached at and evangelized?

A few days ago I was at a coffee shop with a few other Christian friends; mostly members of my church.

A retired pastor that some in the group knew walked past. One of us said “hello” to him. He kind of frowned but said hello back. Then he opened the door about halfway and in a stoic tone said this…

“It’s not about chickens and it’s not about bunny rabbits, it’s about the Lord Jesus Christ sacrificing his life for us.”

Then he went inside and ordered a mocha latte.

My first thought was to repeat Michelle’s infamous question to the pastor… “Does Easter fall on a Sunday this year?”

Instead, I pondered the contrasting comments of Michelle and Pastor latte. Then I wondered how welcome she would feel if the first contact with a Jesus follower was to say those preachy words? Would she nod in stunned agreement and look for the nearest exit? Would her children be uncomfortable after being told their Easter basket full of candy and chocolate eggs was disrespectful to Jesus?

Sometimes Christians believe that if they don’t stand strong for Jesus, He will be forgotten… that we must take on the secular forces at work to marginalize our religion.

I say we go out into the world and take care of those already marginalized, needy and in pain. Allow God to work through us, and leave it to God to continue speaking to the world.

And believe me, He will never be forgotten.

Jesus spent a little over 30 years on earth about 2000 years ago, yet he is still the most talked about person in history. Even nature itself remembers his sacrifice. Every spring and Easter, it honors His resurrection with rebirth and renewal of its own.

Lilies appear from the ground as if by magic. One day it’s an underground and forgotten bulb, the next day, it’s the featured flower in the garden. In New Smyrna Beach, white moths suddenly appear by the thousands on or around Easter every year. The entire town is transformed into a natural show of rebirth.

Spring is a time of renewal. Flowers bloom. Snow melts. The earth is reborn.

white butterflyAnd Jesus is remembered. Every Easter God rewrites Genesis 1.

Easter is a celebration of the greatest event in human history. There should be Easter baskets, Easter eggs, Easter bunnies, fireworks, parties; games and anything else people want to celebrate with.

If the gospels are a true account of the manner in which Jesus walked the earth, then my guess is he would enjoy his time with Michelle and her children more than he would the reverent Pastor latte. He would want to attend the parties, eat, drink and spend time with friends no matter where they are in their journey.

In honor of Jesus and his incredible sacrifice, let’s open our doors and love, serve and bless the visitors to our churches this Easter. Lord knows there will be lots of them!

Reggie Connell is The Managing Editor of The Apopka Voice and Board Chairman at Inspire Church 

 

 

3 COMMENTS

  1. This is the first I have heard of the white moths of New Smyrna Beach by the thousands at Easter time. I would like to know more. Is that because of a migration pattern, and they lay their eggs there for some reason? Is it certain wild flowers or plants there that attract them? I am fascinated, really. I like these little unknown nature facts that I would of thought that I had of heard about. I was reading about homeowners wanting to help the migrating monarch butterflies who depend on the milkweed plant, so they go to the nearest garden center and buy milkweed plants intending to help the monarch butterflies but what one article I read said most garden centers stock is the wrong milkweed type. That threw me off because I have bought some, and I don’t know which is the right type, but I have seen the monarchs lay eggs on them and fluttering around. The article even went on to say the monarchs have gotten lazy and are hanging around these parts rather than flying thousands of miles back and forth to Mexico. ??????? I don’t blame them, I too have gotten lazy LOL.

  2. I enjoyed your Easter article Reggie. Also a year or so ago, Apopka Chief ran a story about how the pine trees even know it is Easter. I started reading the article and it stated that look at the pine trees all around our area right before Easter and they have little crosses on the tops of so many of them, and so I started looking at the pine trees all around as my husband was driving and sure enough, I started seeing them! And my mums are blooming once again on Easter left over from Thanksgiving. Amazing how nature knows the Easter season. I love to smell the hyacinths and the Easter lilies, but usually I end up with a yellow nose from the pollen within. My husband can’t handle them and starts sneezing his head off, and I think it is funny. Easter gives us hope!

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