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Below this is the full text of Pastor John's article
Christ the Lord is Risen!
He is Risen indeed!
This is the traditional greeting on Easter morning, and it is a powerful statement that we can make. One that follows that at the end of the service is the call to go and live as Easter people. It's one thing to say that Christ is risen, but it's another to say we should live as Easter people. That one is much more of a challenge.
Living as Easter people requires us to be different than we've been conditioned to be. It means that we do things that we wouldn't ordinarily do. It's not just about worshiping, helping others, making offerings, and stuff like that. Those things are important, but those are the easiest things to do. And I say that because they primarily focus on doing. We are great at doing things.
This isn't our fault completely. We've all grown up with the ethic of the Protestant Work Ethic. For the quick reminder of what that is:
The Protestant work ethic, also known as the Calvinist work ethic or the Puritan work ethic, is a work ethic concept in theology, sociology, economics and history which emphasizes that diligence, discipline, and frugality are a result of a person's subscription to the values espoused by the Protestant faith, particularly Calvinism.
There's nothing wrong with those things, except that over time that have told us that we must be working, we must not make mistakes, and that we shouldn't waste anything. One of the biggest things we struggle with is time. Wasting time, being bored, not doing anything, are all seen as detrimental to who we are supposed to be. So we try to cut those things out as much as possible (or so we're told that we should do that).
That's not always a bad thing either, but there is a balance. There are many times when we need to be still. When we need to just be in a moment. To the outside world that would look like a waste as defined above. Yet that is what will draw us closer to God.
Jesus knew this, which was why he went off to pray so much, and why he often took his disciples with him. The ancient church knew this, which is why we have so many practices that help us to find space to be in God's presence. These things become even more important when we are surrounded by so much else that is going on, or so much else that has happened.
As we go through this next sermon series, I'll be sharing practices and ideas that we can use to better be in God's presence and to help us live as Easter people with the hope that comes from Jesus' resurrection.