Wow...where have my days gone! Easter was over a week ago! We have had a non-stop influx of friends and family stopping by and visiting to celebrate in the arrival of Miss Evie. It has been insanely busy, but so great. We wouldn't have it any other way! So in light of that, here's Easter, over a week late! :) 
Every year, even at 28 years old, Easter comes with new meaning as I continue to grow in my understanding of who Jesus is and what He has done for us. Jon and I have been learning so much lately about how the Gospel (which is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus) should be affecting our every day lives. It's not just the fact that Christians have been forgiven of their sins, which is incredible! But if we only see that half of the Gospel, then we tend to live with a sense of inadequacy and guilt over our sin because it is impossible for us to live up to the perfect example of Jesus. 
Many Christians, myself included, have a default setting that makes us want to live by half of the Gospel, remembering that God has paid our debt. But we don't live in the freedom that has brought. Instead, we try our best to "be like Jesus." We make the Bible and its guidance for the Christian life into a list of do's and don'ts, morality stories, and ways to just "get better." But that is not the full Gospel, and it’s not Jesus. It’s religion. Jesus rebukes “religion” and the Pharisees throughout the New Testament. If you approach Jesus in a “religious” sense you will either become arrogant and prideful for “doing the 'right' things” or you will become hopeless for failing. 
The second half of the Gospel we often miss is that in addition to forgiveness of our sins, we have been given Jesus and his righteousness! We have access to a personal relationship with the living God! This is how the Gospel affects everyday living. Yes, through the power of the Holy Spirit we strive to overcome sin in our lives. The Bible says that those who put their faith in Jesus are new creatures who have the power to resist sin (1 Corinthians 5:17). The power that helps us to be obedient to God, comes from God and we access it by nourishing our trust relationship with Jesus through prayer, Bible reading, and Christian fellowship. These things do not bribe God into acting favorably towards us. Instead they help us to see God's purposes, embrace them, and the blessings they provide. But be careful, because here, our hearts can turn towards "religion" again. Prayer, Bible reading, and Christian fellowship do not earn us God's blessings rather "they guide us into paths where God's grace has planted His blessings." 
So here I am, at 28, still learning how the Gospel (the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus) has impact on my daily life. It's freeing, it's exciting, and it's a reason to celebrate! Easter is so important because without the cross and resurrection we have no way, no hope, and no means, to be like Jesus. Easter is about Jesus and the Gospel and therefore, we celebrate with great joy.

Mekonen checking out his Easter basket. He had no idea what it was, but was very excited about the Pixar Cars window cling-ons (that we actually stick to the dryer not the windows. He loves it). 
Every year we look forward to Auntie Jess coming from Chicago to spend Easter with us.
Love the fact that we live near Grandparents and that our babes get to spend time with them. Here's little Miss Evie Rae with her Grandpa.
Aunt Lindsay came from Florida to meet Evie.
 Aunt Meghan and cousin Owen came from Virginia to meet Evie.
 Cousin Lenny meets Evie.
Auntie Jess, Evie & Mommy
Mekonen entertaining the masses: Owen, Grandma Magz, and Aunt Martha.
The Easter egg hunt at Grandma's was hilarious. Owen knew exactly what to do and was racing around the yard looking for eggs. Mekonen was entirely confused! It took him awhile to figure out. We had to divide up the eggs later because Owen had gotten so many more than Meko! Haha. I wonder what was going through his little mind when we were all yelling and cheering for him to run and pick up these plastic things all over the place. 
Now he's got it! He is on a mission!
Checkin' out their loot!
Grandpa and his boys.
 Later during the week a bunch of Jon's extended family came for a visit. Can't believe everyone is looking and smiling! Especially the kids!
 And I cannot believe how good this picture of the three cousins came out! They are all actually looking and smiling (sort of Evie-hehe). 

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Amen, Amen, and AMEN!!! Great post and I agree, 9 years into my relationship with the Lord and each Easter it hits me more and more of who Jesus is, what He did for me and how that affects my life and should be affecting my life in daily living. Ah, love that...encouraging to see that we continue to grow in His grace and knowledge of who HE is!