If you’re anything like me, you love Easter Sunday and the joy it brings, you love celebrating Jesus’ resurrection with family and friends, you love the church service and the special activities like Easter breakfast, and you love the Easter egg hunts with kids. And if you’re anything like me, it doesn’t take more than a couple weeks for the thrill of Easter to wear off, and it’s back to focusing on your own problems and your own efforts and forgetting how significant and amazing and awesome Jesus’ resurrection actually is. And if you’re anything like me, you really wish you knew how to change that.
Well, I’m no expert on this. I’m just another hungry beggar begging for bread, finding a feast in the most unlikely of places – a cross, a tomb, a book. My inclination is to eat to my fill at these places, but then go away satisfied and forget to go back until I’m starving all over again. Maybe you find yourself in the same place.
But as a father, it is my responsibility not just to keep my own soul well fed, but the souls of my wife and children as well. If I struggle to remember where to go for my own sustenance, how can I possibly meet their needs? Fortunately, the lesson of Easter is that it changes everything. Instead of wandering around wondering what to do, I have been shown where to go. It really isn’t all that hard. It’s really just about remembering some things:
1. Feed myself every day
This isn’t hard. I literally never have to walk more than a few paces to find a Bible. If there isn’t a physical copy in the same room as me (which there usually is), then I can pull it up on my phone, computer, or tablet. It is easy.
2. Keep the cross and empty tomb in view
It is mighty tempting to say, “I’ve read this all before, I want something new!” and go searching for some new theological book or dig into some obscure part of Scripture I hardly ever read. But if the cross and empty tomb are really where everything changes, I should make sure I’m going back to those all the time. Deeper theology is good, but it all finds its meaning in the cross and empty tomb.
3. Talk with the founder of the feast
Almost everyone I know finds time before digging into a plate of food at a restaurant or some creation they have made at home to pull out the phone, snap a picture, and instagram/pinterest/facebook/snapchat it to everyone who doesn’t really care what you’re about to eat. I’ve done it too. If I can find time for that, certainly I can spend a few moments – maybe even a few minutes – talking about my spiritual feast with someone who really does care what I’m consuming.
4. Bring my family to the table
If I was homeless and starving and I found a place I could eat my fill, it would be incredibly selfish and awful of me to leave my family starving while I eat. If I’m going to make a point of going every day to the Word, the cross, the empty tomb for spiritual food, I want to make sure my family is there with me. I might have to plan well, think ahead a little, and make sure I’m making the most of the opportunities I have to share the Word with them. But with several children’s Bibles in the house, dozens of devotional options for families, and the ability to say the words, “Hey, kids, Jesus loves you, he died for you, he rose for you; you are forgiven forever, and you belong to Jesus forever,” it really isn’t difficult, and it certainly isn’t a chore.
5. I am the shepherd of my family
I am so thankful for the people in my life and in the lives of my wife and kids who bring us the Word, who encourage us, who pray for us, who keep watch over us and make sure that we are spiritually on track. But I am the one God has primarily tasked with leading my wife and kids to hear and learn the Word, to know their Savior, and to look to the cross and empty tomb. I cannot pass off this duty to someone else and still honestly say I am doing my duty. If I find I am not living up to this, I need to repent, find forgiveness at the cross and empty tomb, and ask the Lord for strength and guidance to live up to my responsibility.
6. This is not my home anyway
I don’t belong here. I was born here, but it’s not my home. I’m headed elsewhere, a home that will last much longer than this ball of dust. The earth couldn’t keep Jesus buried, gravity couldn’t keep him from ascending, so the grave won’t hold me and gravity won’t keep me from being caught up to my Savior when he calls me heavenward. So I don’t need to fret this life. I just want to keep my eyes on the goal.