As I sit looking out the window, I have been thinking about Easter. I should be working on my sermon, but my mind keeps wandering. I even tried pulling the shade down thinking that I would then do a better job of focusing – but, no luck. So as I give in to my wandering mind, my thoughts keep going to Easter, but not the Easter I am sure you are thinking of. I keep thinking about a horse named Easter. He got his name because he was born – you guessed it, on Easter. You would have thought that he would have been the nicest, most gentle horse there ever was just because of when he was born – I can assure you that was not the case. As a matter of fact, I am pretty sure that this cross between a quarter horse and a Shetland pony was one of the orneriest around. You see, I met Easter when I was just eleven years old and like most young girls I thought I wanted a horse more than anything in the world. Easter belonged to our junior high school principal – a man with more patience than I had ever seen before. To get on with the story – he would let me ride Easter (or at least try to ride) whenever I rode my bicycle out to his farm. The only saddle that he had was an English riding saddle, which wasn’t of much use even if I could convince him to put it on the horse, so most of the time I rode bareback. Bareback is tricky sometimes, but especially on a horse that spends 90% of its time trying to get you off of his back or keep you from getting on his back. I endured all kinds of cuts, scrapes, bumps, bruises, and even a concussion once, all as a courtesy of my four-legged friend Easter. Sounds kind of stupid doesn’t it? Stupid that I would keep going back over and over again to ride this mean horse, who, it seemed was bent on ensuring I had pain in my life. It is hard to explain how drawn I was to this horse, how much I loved him even though it was not easy. When I was able to ride him, it was exhilarating and I felt so free – something that I didn’t have in my everyday life. I was like a moth to the flame – I couldn’t stay away. Our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus invites us to experience what we cannot on our own. His Easter is a very different Easter – one full of love and grace. He takes on the pain for us – how can we possibly stay away? He invites us to live a life full of love and grace – a life that he knows is best for us. God’s Easter is full of love and life because of God’s allencompassing love for all of us, and he invites us to live our lives accordingly.

  August 2017  
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