Easter Can Never Be Cancelled
"Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes,
you may be able to stand your ground,
and after you have done everything, to stand.."
- Ephesians 6:13
Yesterday, I read an article by Bishop Sally Dyck. She reminded us that Easter can NEVER be cancelled. No matter what trials or troubles, calamity or circumstance, the gospel remains
unchanged. God's love remains
unchanged. Jesus' sacrifice remains
unchanged. The reality of the resurrection remains unchanged. So, no matter what troubles you face (yesterday, today, tomorrow,) remember that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8.) How do we hold onto this truth? What can we do to hold back the tsunami of anxiety gripping our world these days? In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul reminds us to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:13-18):
Stand firm with the "belt of truth" buckled around your waist. Don't be swayed by rumors and gossip. Stick with the facts and affirm truth.
Keep your heart protected with "breastplate of righteousness." Don't be overwhelmed by fear and stress. Find practical ways to love neighbors (friends/family/strangers) every day. Choose to live a life of compassion, kindness, and mercy.
Lace up your shoes reflecting the "gospel of peace." Rather than promoting the Nike swoosh or Adidas stripes, let your life reflect your character and courage as a peace-maker, as a relational healer, as a loving friend.
Hold onto the "shield of faith" to protect you against the flaming arrows of the evil one. It's bad enough when regular arrows are being shot at you. In times like this, the arrows are even more damaging. So, start each day with a daily devotion. Before you jump into emails and phone calls, spend 15 minutes in prayer and Scripture reading.
Guard your mind with the "helmet of salvation." Remember who you are - you are a beloved child of God. Remember whose you are - God loves you and is always with you. You are never alone. Hold fast to these truths. Encourage others with these truths.
Keep a firm grip on the "sword of the Spirit," which is the word of God. Do you remember Jesus' example when he was tempted in the wilderness? Jesus countered each temptation with the truth. His decisions were directed by the Scriptures.
Last but not least, Paul calls us to "pray." Embrace God's presence. Plug into God's power. Stay in communion with God.
Just as you put on your physical clothes each morning, put on the armor of God. As we start this new day, let's be strong and courageous!
God bless you. Stay safe. Be a blessing! Pastor Caleb