Sunday, April 16, 2017
Sunday Afternoon Tea - Easter and Peace
I have always loved Easter, from the time I was a little girl getting a new dress (which included a hat and white gloves by the way) to today as I get ready to pop a ham in the oven for our mid-day celebration... expecting my youngest granddaughter as a very special guest.
There is such a homey aroma coming from the kitchen as a ham bakes. If you have ever put a house up for sale, your Realtor may have advised you to either bake cookies just before showings or to put a ham in the oven to slowly bake. There is a reason for that...
I wrote last week about the practical ways I have been perusing peace in a time of wars and rumors of wars. Today I'd like to share the more "spiritual" attempts to find peace. By "spiritual" I mean Jesus and not the Oprah brand of spirituality. How appropriate that this post would be written on Easter Sunday, the day of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
First and always foremost... Peace is a Person. The Lamb of God, who was born to die as a replacement for us on that cross. Only He who knew no sin could stand in for those of us who are sons and daughters of the fallen Adam. He took back the Keys to the Kingdom and overcame death once and for all.
Without Easter there is no true Christianity. Everything hinged on that first Easter when the stone was rolled away. If Jesus had not been raised from the dead, he would have been no different than any other religious leader. There would have been a tomb where one could pay their respect. Instead it is empty and we give our worship.
I don't have any problem calling the day of His Resurrection Easter Sunday. For words only have the meaning one assigns and I believe the word Easter is lovely. When our kids were young, we did the whole Easter basket thing but then again, I have enough of my grandmother's Irish blood in me that I love the idea of rabbits who bring chocolate, mice who live in tree stumps and wear pinafores, and that Mrs. Beaver is a role model for showing hospitality.
If one knows the Real Thing, then the little extras like chocolate bunnies and colored eggs can never take away from what is important... Who is important. Not as long as our children grow up knowing that the true meaning of Easter is not candy but that Jesus arose from the grave so we can live with Him after our journey here is finished.
When I need peace.. I usually open the Psalms. When the days seem long and my patience is short and fear is present... I always open to the Psalms. There is just something about the Songbook of the Hebrews that brings peace. The Bible I've used for twenty-plus years opens to the Psalms without trying.
Something else I've been doing lately is to seek wisdom from those who have gone before me... those men and women of God who have passed through wars and rumors of wars and adversity... and remained true to their Lord. I don't have a written plan as such but I've been allowing myself the luxury of looking through my bookshelves until I find the mentor I need at the moment.
I'll talk more about specifics on my next Book Talk post but it has been good to brush the dust off of some books where I've found wisdom before. I know some people turn to podcasts or online articles but I'm a bookish sort who loves reading a book that shows chocolate stains of where I read it while snacking one afternoon or water marks splashed from a long ago hot bath such as my old copy of Hidden Art.
I've been sending up a lot of short prayers throughout the day that keep me anchored to Peace Himself. Sometimes I'll just say the name of Jesus to remind myself it is all about Him. I am finding it necessary to make a quick connection throughout the day as well as longer times of prayer.
For you see, you don't get His peace from hoping for it. You get that peace as He gives it to you when you spend time with Him. That's why it is described as peace that passes all understanding. It is how you can go to bed at night thinking you can't make it through another day and be honest with Him about how you feel because He knows all about it, anyway.
Then you awake the next morning and are amazed that you are full of peace and faith and courage to meet another day. It wasn't you, other than asking Him for these things... that renewal you feel is all Him. His mercies are new every morning.
Just as He breathed life into Adam... He breathes new life into you. Every day. New hope. New faith. New mercies.