Three Invitations to Live Into Easter

Another Easter has come and gone. So how can our lives be different this year, post-Easter?

Sunday, I attended the Easter Sunday service at Chestnut Grove Baptist Church. During worship, my friend Lance King, the Pastor of Chestnut Grove, delivered a sermon that is still resonating in my heart and my spirit.

I want to share my takeaways from the sermon, and the applications it has for coaches and others who help people live a fuller and more fulfilling life.

In his sermon taken from Matthew 28, Lance reminded me that risen Christ in Easter offers three invitations.

Easter invites us to live … not shackled by the past, but freely into the future.

The two Marys approached the tomb of Jesus assuming to find a dead body. Instead, they found an open tomb and encountered an angel who said, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here; … tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him’.”

The two Marys in this story were focused on the past – the crucifixion of Jesus and the burial of a dead Jesus in a tomb. The angelic messenger proclaimed the good news in the present: Jesus is no longer dead. With that proclamation, the angelic messenger invites them to see a future vision of Jesus in Galilee.

Easter is an invitation to live freely into the future “ahead of you” where the risen Christ is waiting.

Yes, our past experiences, both good and bad, play an important part in forming who we are, our values, our interests and our fears. As coaches, we have the privilege of hearing our clients tell their stories. However, our focus is not to fix the past, but to help our clients see their future.

As a coach, I sometimes ask my clients: “Will you let your past freeze you or free you?”

Easter invites us not just to worship, but to follow the risen Christ.

Scripture says that when the risen Jesus greeted to the two Marys, they came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

When they saw Jesus, the first response of the two Marys was worship. Worship is an important part of our faith. But in this passage (and in our faith), worship is not an end in itself. Worship prompts movement to follow the risen Christ.

Easter is an invitation to not just worship, but to follow the risen Christ.

Jesus never commanded his disciples to “come, worship me.” Jesus did command his disciples to “Come, follow me,” and “Go, and tell.”

In fact, Paul tells us in Romans 12 that our spiritual act of worship is offering our bodies as a living sacrifice and being transformed by the renewing our mind.

Christian faith is about movement and transformation – the movement of God towards humanity, the movement to follow Christ, the transformation into a new creation, and the commission to go and make disciples.

Similarly, coaching is about movement – movement toward growth and goals. It is not enough to have greater awareness or insight. It’s what our clients do and where they go with those insights that make coaching so valuable.

As a coach, I sometimes ask my clients: “What will you do every day that excites and gives you life?”

Easter invites us to break out of religion (Jerusalem) and break into real life (Galilee).

Twice in this passage from Matthew, Jesus says, “go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

On that first Easter Sunday, the Marys met first met the risen Christ in Jerusalem, the center of the Jewish religion. But Jesus tells them and the disciples to meet him in Galilee, the region where Jesus lived and based much of his ministry.

Could the instruction to “go to Galilee” be an invitation to break out of religion and break into real life?

The risen Christ is not limited in our centers of worship.

The risen Christ is active out in the world, and disciples are invited to join Him there.

As a coach, I sometimes ask my Christian clients: “Where do you see Christ at work in the world, and how might you join in?”

* * * * *

During this Easter season, I’m grateful for my friend who reminded me to live into Easter in the coming weeks.

How will you live into Easter this year?

I end with a benediction.

During this Easter season,

may you live freely into the future where Christ is waiting,

may you worship and follow Christ who is ahead of you,

may you break out of religion and into real life,

so that you may walk in Christ’s path

that not only blesses the church,

but also the whole world.