He is Risen!! Chances are you heard that phrase exclaimed many times over the weekend. It was even a trending hashtag on Facebook. Easter celebrations commenced in churches all over the world as Christians and seekers gathered to commemorate an empty tomb, a Risen Savior, and a Victorious King.
How ironic that it was this same week, while listening to NPR (several of you just realized what a geek I actually am), I heard a self-described Christian politician utter these words, “If Jesus was alive today…” Both my husband and I instantly scolded the radio with words like, “IF He is alive?” and “Um, isn’t the fact that He is alive the BEDROCK of our faith?” After huffing and puffing a bit, we got over ourselves, but the words stuck in my head.
“If Jesus was alive today…”
Yesterday, we shouted it from the rooftops. We sang it loudly from our pews. We even unashamedly posted it all over facebook as a quippy hashtag and pictures of empty tombs, broken chains, and glorious beams of light. We joyfully proclaimed, “God’s NOT Dead, He’s surely alive!”
But, do we really believe that?
Do we really believe that Jesus is as alive today as He was the day before He was nailed to a cross? As alive this moment as He was when He was weeping in the garden of Gethsemane? As alive today as He was when He broke the bread and blessed the cup? As alive today as He was when He knelt before His disciples to wash their filthy feet and said “I love you” with humility and service?
And if we say, “Yes, of course we do!” then I have to ask, do we LIVE like we do? Do our lives each and every day proclaim as loudly #HeisRisen in the daily routine as we do in the Easter celebration? Do we “get a pass” on Easter Sunday to be a bold follower of Christ in our homes, among our friends, and in society because it’s an accepted recognized holiday?
Whether we live it or not, He is just as RISEN today as He was yesterday. The celebration we experienced on Easter is available to us every. single. day! We of all people should be the most celebratory, the most joyful, the most excited on earth. Because HE IS RISEN!!
I was privileged to watch my children really connect this year with The Story of God’s love for us. My three-year old walked around with his handmade cross on Good Friday telling everyone that “Jesus loves Caleb!” My girls were moved to tears as they considered the sorrow of Jesus’ death at our Good Friday service and were so excited about the dawning of Easter Sunday, they willingly got out of bed at 5 am to get dressed and attend the sunrise service. I don’t want to lose that connection. I want them to go into each day knowing that deep love of God and the joy of His resurrection.
And, in many ways, that is up to us.
Because if I live that Jesus is alive, I have share my joy of serving a risen Savior, not once a year, but in the everyday, they will be able to put flesh-and-blood on that amazing story. If I pray when troubles come, rejoice when grace is shown, serve with humility and love, praise with joyous abandon, and talk about the God I serve when we sit at home, when we walk along the road, when we sleep and when we rise, then they will know that He is risen… indeed!
It is a challenge we must embrace. To consider if we live our lives saying, “If Jesus was alive today…” or if we live our lives proclaiming, “He IS Risen!” As parents, as ministers, as Christians, we have the incredible opportunity to celebrate every day that our God’s not dead, even when it’s not trending on facebook.
He. Is. Risen.
For more information about practical discipleship in the home or transitioning to a more family-focused ministry at your church, go to ReFocus Ministry or “like” our Facebook page.
About the author
Christina Embree is wife to Pastor Luke, mom to three wonderful kids, and family minister at Nicholasville UMC. She is passionate about seeing churches partnering with families to encourage faith formation at home and equipping parents to disciple their kids in the faith. Currently studying Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at ChildrensMinistryBlog.com.