Liturgically we are in the season of Easter, which officially ends on June 9th, at which point we celebrate and reflect on the significance of Pentecost. So, before we get there let`s ask ourselves, what does this post Easter period mean for us today?
First of all, let`s go back to "Pre Easter". Jesus is travelling around Judea, from Tyre in the North to Jerusalem in the south gathering disciples, healing the sick, raising people from the dead, feeding the masses with a packed lunch, turning water into wine. Dot dot dot.... and yet these miraculous moments can lose their gravity if not taken seriously or at the very least, pondered upon. We can become complacent about the enormity of God`s love for us. These stories can become nothing more than a mantra to Jesus life on Earth.... phrases and descriptions said over and over until they lose their meaning.
But, these aren`t insignificant stories, they are the actual accounts of Jesus, the Son of God when he lived on Earth.
Imagine being the first person the blind man saw as Jesus returned his sight. Imagine being one of the five thousand fed by 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. Imagine actually seeing Jesus`face or hearing His voice, hearing him speak as he taught the first disciples how to pray "abu-nan be sumayya" Our Father in Heaven. Imagine witnessing, first hand the reality that we read about in our bibles today. If we were in any doubt "pre Easter" that Jesus was the Son of God, if we were in any doubt that Jesus poured out abundance on everything He did and everything he expressed BEFORE Easter, how much more do we know of His heart and how much more can we expect of Him AFTER Easter?
Jesus didn`t give half of His heart when he healed the sick. He didn`t half-heartedly walk across the water or half-heartedly calm a storm. He didn`t half-heartedly raise Lazarus from the dead and neither did He half-heartedly draw a line in the sand as He embraced Mary Magdalene.
He did all of these things and so much more with His WHOLE heart. Giving only. Taking nothing.
And with Easter the only thing left to give was His life and the only thing He took from us was our sins.
If the Jesus we know "pre Easter" can give of himself so abundantly, so preposterously and can pour out His blessings so generously how much more does He give after His resurrection? He will always give us more than we expect, more than we need even. Do we recognise Gods over- suffience or are we so wrapped up in our own insufficiances that we fail to see what God sees?
As a church we are now in that time of post Easter reflection and yet no more or less in this time than if we`d physically been there at the empty tomb. We are forever POST Easter and that comes with recognising that God gives His WHOLE heart, and in His Son, His life to make sure that we never have to live with half a heart. We never have to live with a sinful shadow covering our hearts. He forgives, washes us clean and gives us back our whole hearts.
We nurture these hearts by feeding them with prayer, feeding them with scripture, feeding them with good deeds, kindness, compassion, joy, encouragement and above all else love for one another and love for God.
And so... if God gives us a whole heart, how do we go about using it?