Easter, although so triumphant, had less outward abundance of special features such as decorations and yet the music filled my heart with wonder as we sang of Jesus' death and resurrection. The words to old hymns such as Up From the Grave He Arose and He Lives filled my heart and mind with the triumphant Jesus conquering the grave, sin and death. Yet despite the anticipation of celebration with music and Biblical stories and teachings, the forty day Lenten season was not part of the package in my youth or adulthood.
The church I presently attend has chosen, in the last few years, to reflect on this forty day season in several ways. This year it is devotionals each day and prayer requests to pray for our city, our community of neighbours and ourselves. Some years it has been forty days of fasting and prayer by the congregation where people could sign up for a day of fasting and prayer until all forty days had been covered. Even with this new aspect to my church life, I have not always taken part in the specific, extra time to reflect, fast, and pray for myself, for others, for our leaders and our land to the depth I could have. At times the Lenten season passes me by even as I think ahead to the Easter celebration.
As I write this I wonder what God would have me focus on in my life, my writing, my community. How can I develop an ear attuned to His words, an eye to see the needs as He would have me see them and hands willing to help others?
We live in a broken world, surrounded by hurting people, ourselves included. Sadness, confusion, disappointment, disillusionment, and despair hold our hearts in their grasp and blind our eyes to the victory of Jesus through his death and resurrection. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus felt those same emotions the day Jesus joined them on their journey. They had the chance to physically walk with Jesus, listen to His words and marvel at them, even though their eyes were blinded to who he was. But Jesus allowed them to see Him and they recognized him as He broke bread with them. They knew they had been with Jesus and their day ended in joy, excitement and true devotion.
How often in the midst of the despair or the busyness of life when I don't take the extra time to reflect during the Lenten season do I forget that I can talk to Jesus at any time through prayer. Oh what a sweet privilege to walk with Him each day and read His words or be still and listen to his still small voice whispering His love for me. Like those two disciples who walked with Jesus on the Road to Emmaus, I pray I will have open eyes to see and know His presence in my daily life.
Life happens to all of us and I have had my share of eventful, unexpected twists and turns to my life that threaten to take my eyes off Jesus. Some days I despair of hearing God's still small voice. Easter is coming. We celebrate the victory of Jesus over sin and death in song and reading the Scriptures.
I pray that I will remember Jesus is ever present in my life and longs for me to come and spend time with him.
As we reflect on the meaning of Easter, sing the songs of joy and triumph, may their meaning burn deep into our hearts and be reflected in our everyday actions.
As a speaker, published author and storyteller, Carol Harrison is passionate about mentoring people of all ages and abilities to help them find their voice and reach their fullest potential. She shares from her heart, telling stories from real life experiences and God’s Word to encourage people and help them find a glimmer of hope no matter what the circumstances. She believes we need to continuously grow in our walk with God and lives out her storytelling passion by speaking at women’s events and retreats, Bible Camps as well as school assemblies and church events. Carol is a wife, mother of four adult children and grandmother to twelve. She makes her home is Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.