And it’s still snowing. On Bright Monday. LOL. I was asked about what I mean by Bright Monday. Well, Easter! The Lord rose and all darkness has been dispelled! The Light of the World has come to show us the way to Heaven. During Bright Week, we do not fast. We do no prostrations or bows. We stand with the elect; the chosen people of God. Why else would people who disagree with Christianity set off 8 bombs on the holiest day of the Christian calendar? We are not Easter Worshippers – we worship our Risen Lord – Jesus Christ, the Son of God. +Jesus Christ, one of the Holy Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.+ And we worship Him every day. Those who hate us persecute us when we are at our most Holy – Easter Sunday. Without Easter, Christmas is meaningless. Without Easter, there is no Christianity. And so those that wish us ill choose our holiest day to attack our people and our beliefs; to make a statement against those who follow Jesus Christ. Make no mistake, there was a concerted effort to hurt Christianity in Sri Lanka, in Paris, and all the other places Christians are being bombed, killed, and singled out for their faith. And during Bright Week, even in dark and snowy weather, the Light still shines for those who believe.
Most of us have just completed 40 days of fasting and preparing our hearts to welcome the Risen Lord. Every year, we re-dedicate ourselves to living a Christian lifestyle. One of the things about Lent that I love is that if you really, really apply yourself, you can come out, on Easter Vigil or Easter Sunday, a different person. And this Lent is no exception. I have been blessed to use an amazing Lenten Psalter study and it truly impacted my thinking and behavior. Another thing that touched me greatly was visiting some friends. They have been doing extensive remodeling. And one of the things they incorporated everywhere was religious art and icons. And walking into their home felt so joyful because God was everywhere. We relocated 2 years ago to a new home. And it has been a home of minimalism. Very little out on display. Very little on the walls. No curtains in our main living area (although in 2 bedrooms there are curtains). My daughter-in-law made a valance for my kitchen window, and also a covering for our glass door. And I love them so much. They added warmth. But I realized after our visit with our friends, I missed my icons. So on Wednesday of Holy Week, I sat and unpacked 4 large boxes. I hung family photos and artwork in our guest room. It looks so homey, now. And I got out my icons. I added them all over the house. We chose a wall we are going to make our icon wall, because we realized we missed them. We need our home to reflect who we are, and what we believe, unashamedly. We are not a Church, so we will not attempt to recreate one in our home. However, we are a Christian home. And I refuse to be embarrassed by my faith, and to not have it in my decor. It is part of who I am and if you are coming into my home, you should already know that about me. And probably expect it! LOL! And I truly hope you find the warmth, safety, and love of God in our home.
I also have decided I enjoyed 40 days without Facebook. I am cleaning it out and de-activating my account at the end of April. I am just done with the drama. I chose to be on FB to stay in touch with my kids. My youngest tells me if he lets me, I become a hovering mother. So he does not friend me on some media accounts. And I get that. He has a life of his own (almost 21!!) and I need to butt out. I am also curtailing my circle. It is becoming more intimate and meaningful. More real. I discovered that I need people who will support me, my faith, and my walk in this world. I want tangible friendships. I need to limit who I let in and who influences me. There are so many sayings like, “You are what you eat,” or “You are what you watch/read/listen to…” And this applies to people, places, and events we allow in. From a couple of posts back, I wrote, “To quote from the Lenten study I am participating in (“Songs of Praise” by Sylvia Leontaritis), “Every so often I like to sit down and examine my life and the things I allow to take up space in it. I discover activities that don’t really need to be there, for the simple fact that they don’t contribute to anything needful.” And that is more than true in my life. What do I allow to “take up space in it”?
Less social media, more in person. Less listening to the talking heads, more meaningful podcasts and written works. Less being of the world, more being just in it. I am trying to work out my salvation in the most meaningful way I can. Putting on the breaks, and breaking old habits, are hard things to do. But for me, necessary. Less can truly be more. In every corner of your life.
As we move through Bright Week, let us remember and pray for those who take their lives in their hands, each and every time they gather as Christians. And pray for the souls of those recently taken, and for their families, and their country. Our world is at war, as it always is. But these days, it is becoming more and more overt. More and more obvious. The world wants God out of it, and they want the state in it. They want to replace God with government. We all need to re-commit ourselves to living authentic, Christian lives. Trust in God, in the Light of the World. Simply put, we all need to be praying, all the time.