So I was driving the kids to school today and had a great time with the change of my morning routine. It was a great time to practice what I believe and turn a change of routine into something relationally impactful, since the kids usually track with Mommy most of the time. We were playing fun music and on time, which is another personal time management best :). On the way, I took the circle downtown, and in the midst of the change, my autopilot self took the wheel and I took the wrong direction as if I were heading to Oakwood. When my real mind took charge, I said, “Oh No!” really loud. Then we turned it into a fun game… guess what Dad forgot this time. Katie was the quickest and realized we were on a little different track, and Noah shortly followed as he saw the ducks at the park. No worries, we made a small adjustment and headed to school, thankfully making it on time. Score one for Dad, even with the small adventure.
My thought was, how does this relate to our celebration this Easter Weekend? Do I tell myself to seize the moment and then go into autopilot instead? So many times, we can intentionally seize the moment and yet, our routine nature gets the best of us. Holidays are great for the very fact that they have a sense of tradition mixed with family memories all in one moment. I think that is the same for Easter every year. We need the tradition of remembering and celebration of the resurrection that Easter brings, but there is also this internal fight to keep the heart in check. The ole self check up with Jesus is good around this time. It’s kind of like this… “Hey Jesus, since you are resurrected again, are we cool?” Why the internal struggle anyway? It think it is because when we truly follow Christ, he makes it personal. This religious tradition that the world sees millions to billions of Christians participate in and flesh out in various denominations is actually an expression of a Holy God not giving up on the relationship that he started with Humanity at the beginning of creation.
That’s why I have personally been compelled to focus on Galatians 2:20 for the past few weeks.
“20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. “
Paul saw this same struggle with tradition and relationship on his own personal journey. Being a man brought up in the tradition of Jewish Law, he was in the Passover routine every Easter. He also had the Spiritual Wisdom to understand that most people struggled with this very tension. That is why the axis of Galatians, and possibly Paul’s life mantra had to be more than routine. He had to personally be crucified with Christ and then find out what true resurrection living was all about. Because Christ lives, we can live in the same power by faith. We can look back on this journey to the Cross and say that HE LOVED ME. We can call this Friday “good” because HE GAVE HIMSELF FOR ME.
When we make the Easter Holiday personal, we can easily fill in the blank with this phrase:
BECAUSE HE LIVES I CAN ___________________________.
Where do you need to be crucified with Christ? How do you need to sense the love of Jesus this Easter? How does it feel to remember that Jesus gave himself for YOU, personally. Your sin, your quirks, your talents, your wrong turns, your personal human nature.
Lets practice the presence of Christ this Easter Holiday by making it personal in the midst of the egg hunts, television specials, family fun, and time off. By making it personal, we might find the joy of denying ourselves and truly living in a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.