What’s The Occasion?

It has been heartwarming over the past few days to see so many of my friends and family–and their friends and family–share Facebook posts and photos about Easter.  Families dressed up to attend church, extended families gathering for a meal, egg and candy hunts with little ones.  It’s been fun.  And I’ve enjoyed seeing pictures of loved ones far away making new memories together.

I’ve also been blessed by the posts that remind us of the true occasion we’ve been celebrating–the very heart of the gospel message.  Jesus Christ, King of all kings and Lord of all lords, left His home in Heaven to take His place on a humble cross and die for the sins of mankind.  But it wasn’t the end of the story.  On the third day He rose again, conquering death.  And that is cause for rejoicing and extended celebration!

“Then the angel spoke to the women.  ’Don’t be afraid!’ he said.  ’I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He isn’t here!  He is risen from the dead, just as He said would happen.”  Matthew 28:5-6

Because Jesus lives we have the promise of an eternity in Heaven with Him when we accept His outstretched hand and trust Him as Savior.  (See John 3:16)

Because Jesus lives we can face whatever tomorrow might bring (even in turbulent political and economic times) when we choose to trust His promise to be with us always.  (See Matthew 28:20)

Because Jesus lives we have the power to overcome sin in our lives with the help of the Holy Spirit–the very same power that raised Jesus from the dead!  Wow!  (See Ephesians 1:19-20)

Because Jesus lives we are so amazingly, incredibly, abundantly blessed!  Not just on Easter, but every day of every year.

So when the colors of Easter fade–when the dyed eggs have all been eaten or tossed, the decorations have been packed away for another year, and pretty dresses are hung back in the closet–what do you do to carry the celebration with you throughout the year?  How will you hold on to the joy of the Resurrection so it doesn’t fade away along with the colors of the Easter holiday?

In just over three weeks, on April 22, we’ll be gathering together again with our LIFT loved ones.  We’ll rejoice in our shared faith, lift our voices in worship, encourage each other in our lives and ministries, pray for each other, and learn new ways to be effective as Christian women and as leaders.  Kerri Willoughby will bless us this time with lessons on leadership from the book of Nehemiah, continuing on with our 2016 theme of Leading With Love.

LIFT events are one of my favorite ways to continue, and multiply, and  expand on the joy of belonging to Jesus–of knowing He LIVES!  I always come away refreshed and renewed and full of joy.  I hope you will join us.

In the meantime, post a comment here and share with us how you keep the joy fresh in your life.


Deborah Barber



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