Families everywhere are getting ready to celebrate Easter. Decorating eggs, preparing Easter baskets for the children, and baking lovely desserts that commemorate the holiest of days; the day we set aside to remember that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ rose from the dead.
I have spent the last week thinking about the significance of Easter. As a child, it was about the surprises my siblings and I would wake up to and the Easter egg hunt at grandma's house. As I got older it was about getting together with family, hanging out with cousins, and the excellent food my mom and aunts prepared. As a parent, it became about buying fun outfits for my children and putting together Easter baskets for them with small gifts I knew they would love, coloring eggs with the kids and then watching them laugh and run as they hunted for them. As an adult, I loved the Easter music performances at church and seeing everyone dressed in their finery.
I look around at our community of guests at Haven of Hope and wonder what Easter means to them. Do they have memories like mine? Have they ever hunted for Easter eggs or colored them with their siblings? What can we give them that will have a lasting impact on their lives? Jesus. All the Easter egg hunts, baskets, fabulous meals, and wonderful music cannot give any of our homeless community what they need to hope for a better future. Only Jesus gives that. When you really look at what Jesus endured on the cross, you have to ask yourself why? Why would he lower himself to such a state to be the victim of such violence, pain and death? Hebrew 12:2 says it best, "...who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."
The joy that was set before him - what was the joy set before him? It was you, me and every other person, including every homeless person. Because I have a hard time understanding how I could bring such joy to the Lord, how can I help others to understand the same? Easy, sharing the love of God! Sharing all that we have with those that don't have is a tangible manifestation of God's love.
I have given this verse a lot of thought recently, I have noticed that my joy has increased since coming to work at Haven of Hope. I have genuine joy and a profound feeling of rightness when I am at work. Perhaps when we share in God's work we also share in the "joy that was set before him."
I invite you to participate in the work of Jesus at Haven of Hope. Your financial donations provide the resources to minister life, hope and the love of Jesus through food, hygiene, clothing, listening, caring, counseling, educating, and community. Scripture says, "they will know we are Christians by our love", John 13:35. So, come, be a part of the wonderful work God has called us to do!
Have a blessed and beautiful Easter!
God bless your generous hearts,