for the Easter Season
by Dave Quintana
The promise of
Jesus’ post-resurrection greeting
is a powerful one – “Peace be with you.” Life will not always be smooth,
life will not always be easy, everything will not always go our way, but
we do have Christ’s peace. Not “happy-happy feel good peace” but true peace
– that is “right relationship” with God, with others, and with self. He
offers peace to us who have remained silent, peace even to those of us
who have failed, denied, or even rejected our Lord. Jesus looks upon each
of us with forgiving eyes, longing that we would be in full relationship
with him and deeply at peace with him. So when we fall, let’s get back
up again, be restored, and return to full fellowship (“peace”) with him.
On the evening of that day,
the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were
for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them,
"Peace be with you." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and
his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said
to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I
am sending you."
John 20:19-21 ESV
Living life from
Life is meant to be lived from the
Center, a divine Center. Each one of us can live such a life of amazing
power and peace and serenity, of integration and confidence and simplified
multiplicity, on one condition – that is, if we really want to.
Do you want it enough? Do I want it enough?
Do not be anxious about
anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses
all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 RSV
Free from the dark
Many children, of course, are quite
afraid of the dark. And not without reason – bad things can happen in the
dark! But as Christians, while we seek to rid the world and our lives of
darkness, we know that Christ’s light is greater than our darkness. That
allows us to live in peace and in freedom. We know that the power and grace
of God can turn our stumbling blocks into stepping stones. We know that
sin and death and darkness have been defeated – that Christ stands victorious
and so do we. Let us strive to live free from all darkness and shadows,
liberated by the light of the world.
The light shines in the
darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1:5-9 ESV
Free to whisper
One area in which we all desperately
long to be free is our relationship with God, being able to freely and
confidently come before him. To be able to be ourselves, warts and all,
before him, and not to feel that we need to hide in shame. Cardinal Hume
puts it well as he talks about “being free enough to whisper into the ears
of a compassionate God a story I never dared to tell.” Now that is freedom!
Yes we’re sinful, and yes we ought to be repentant and seek God’s mercy
and power to change. But may we also live in the perfect freedom and glorious
liberty of the sons of God, as we speak to him of the story of our lives
which we never dared to tell.
For all who are led by the
Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery
to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as
sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit himself bears witness
with our spirit that we are children of God.
Romans 8:14-16 RSV
Free to love
If in your relationships with others you are very concerned for yourself,
or if you are concerned that you might “lose out” or be taken advantage
of, let me suggest that you best be mighty careful, and you best not give
of yourself very generously. But please recognize that you are trapped;
you are not free. In fact, as Methodist spiritual writer William Sangster
notes, “Only the free can love, and only the completely free can love unreservedly.”
I believe that the power of Christ’s resurrection, made manifest in our
lives, is meant to free us to love others generously from the heart. It
allows us “to soar with the lightness of true inner freedom” as we lose
ourselves, and as we find God and others, in love.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another:
just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all
people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
John 13:34-33 RSV
Free to ask
Why not take some time today to ask God that he would expand your borders?
That he might bless you with more opportunities to live for him, with more
chances to bless others, with more “appointments to keep” (that is, God-orchestrated
encounters). And remember, living his way is a part of the deal!
How about making this prayer your own?
Oh, that You would bless me indeed,
and enlarge my territory,
that Your hand would be with me
and that You would keep me from evil.
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his
name Jabez, saying, "Because I bore him in pain." Jabez called upon the
God of Israel, saying, "Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border,
and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm
so that it might not bring me pain!" And God granted what he asked.
1Chronicles 4:9-10 RSV
Finding God in
I truly desire to have my life, in each aspect of it and in every aspect
of it, to be given over to God as fully as possible. But my life is filled
with so many different things and such a wide variety of things
– some more “spiritual” and some more “human”, some more “holy”
and some more “mundane”. There are many keys in the spiritual life that
unlock certain things for us. I was given a key a while back from a dear
friend and brother who was writing about “finding God in all things”. I
quickly found it a helpful expression of, and goal for, what I thought
the Lord was looking for from me. Certainly my life would be more centred
on him and on the life that is found in him if I could but find him a bit
more in all the normal, human, mundane aspects of life.
Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food
and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These
are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.
Colossians 2:16-17 ESV
Quintana is an elder of the Servants
of the Word, a missionary brotherhood of men living single for the
Lord. He is also a regional coordinator for the Sword
of the Spirit in Europe and the Middle East. He currently lives in