"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." Mark 12:30 (NIV)
Each year after Christmas I urge my readers to leave something out that will be a reminder of the miracle of Christ's birth all year long. Although that time of year is set aside to celebrate His coming, the fact that He left Heaven to be with us on earth is something that should never be shoved into a box and stored in an attic.
Likewise, Easter is when we praise Him for His sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection. But sadly, once the weekend has passed, we tend to return to the normality of our lives and store away whatever decorations we have used in order to prepare for the next holiday.
Unlike Santa Claus and the Easter bunny, Jesus is no fairy tale. The stories recorded for us in the Bible of His existence are real. He was with God before creation and is with Him now. Because of the time He spent on Earth, because of what He gave of Himself to accomplish the will of His Father, we have total forgiveness of our sins available to us if we choose to accept it. Once we believe in Him as the Son of God, receive Him as our Lord and Savior and repent of our sins we have the promise of eternal life with Him in Heaven.
How it must grieve Him to be put out of our thoughts as easily as we store away snowmen, wreaths and candy filled eggs. After all that He went through for our sakes, even as He pleads for us before our Father, once our calendar-planned holidays end, too often so do our praises.
At any time, Jesus could have said no. He could have called legions of angels to wipe out those who tortured Him. Although fully human, He was also fully divine and the nails through His hands and feet held no control over Him. But He didn't say no. Philippians 2:8 tells us, "...he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death - even death on a cross." Even for Him, obedience was a choice and he made that choice out of His love for you and for me.
Our remembrance and our praise should be alive and active just as our Savior is alive and active in our lives. Our hearts, minds, souls and strength need to remain focused on Him at all times. All that we do, think and say should be influenced by His example as we allow Him to mold us to become more like Him.
Nothing happens in our lives that He is unaware of. He is always by our side, ready to take our hands and walk us through whatever conflicts, heartaches, fears or tragedies we encounter. He promised never to leave us and His promises can be believed. His death and resurrection didn't take away the hard times in life, but they did give us the assurance that we will never be alone and that death, sorrow, pain and sadness will cease when we join Him in Heaven.
His love and power cannot be boxed away. Grab His holy hand and walk with Him today. God bless.