Today, I have two of the cutest little girls in matching sundresses. When soccer dude was asked what he would like to wear for Easter – he chose a T-shirt from the Christian bookstore. The back has a cross with Romans 1.16; the front claims “wearing this t-shirt would be illegal in 53 countries.”
As we drove to worship this morning we talked about the freedoms we take for granted and thought about how we would celebrate differently if we were in one of those 53 countries. We would still celebrate I am sure, but not with new clothes and jelly beans. It would be a celebration filled with courage and an awareness that faith costs something.
After hearing that in our former city certain Western restaurants were closed down to prevent Christians from gathering together on Easter, I realized that Soccer Dude’s choice of clothing was more fitting than any bow-tie. My heart is challenged by our friends in Asia who are not able to publicly celebrate the resurrection together.
But even more than that –
As I celebrate the power of the resurrection in my life, there are so many in the world who have never heard. Many are without hope. Lost. Unforgiven. Wandering through life trying to makes sense of it all. Oh, that they might hear his name – learn of the transforming forgiveness that is offered. Oh, Jesus, may they hear and accept a place in your family. Saved. Adopted. Transformed.
Last week in Sunday school Little Man learned to say the phrase “Yay, Jesus!” He has repeated the phrase a million times this week. He was sitting playing with the train and all of a sudden shouted, “Yay, Jesus!” He ended our meal prayers with the two heart filled words. He added them to his songs. “Yay, Jesus, Twinkle twinkle little star” is one of my new favorites. At a family gathering, we all were marveling in cuteness and trying to get him to say “Yay, Aunt Jana.” He would have nothing to do with it. He knew the name of Jesus went with “Yay”….nothing and no one else.
I believe in the resurrection power of God that raised Jesus from the dead 2000 years ago and I know that His same power is alive and active today. Since that is true, then all we need to say is “Yay, Jesus.” As we think of the persecuted church, the lost in our world, and the sin that can trip us up…..Jesus is the one who conquered it and will have the victory.
Today, I am leaning into my desire to live out a courageous faith that boldly proclaims “Yay, Jesus!”