** Today’s post is brought to you by Ben Gildas.**
Easter is here. Did you miss it?
I can tell you from first hand experience it is easy to have Easter whiplash. Between picking out the perfect outfits, planning for church, decorating the house, and, increasingly, multiple egg hunts, Jesus was sandwiched in there somewhere. We are a blended family, which in our case means three sets of grandparents, two churches, and one child long distance. My family tries to keep the focus on the celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the dead, but it is easy to lose focus.
And yet blended families cannot afford to miss it. I like to think of Easter as the “feast day” of the blended family. Of course, its the principal celebration of all Christians everywhere, a time to remember Christ’s victory over death, sin, and hell—and our own new life in him. Through Christ’s victory, the old things of this world have passed away and all things are being made new.
I think I understood what resurrection here and now means, the new life promised to me through my baptism into Christ, in a whole new way the day I was remarried. For years I held onto the pain of my divorce, the broken promises and lost future of my first marriage. A year after my ex-wife moved out of our home she also moved with my daughter to live eight hours away. Through the processes of divorce and custody there were many moments when I thought my life as I knew it was over. I never believed I would love again, and remarriage was not even a consideration.
God had other plans. When I met my wife Melissa, the wounds of my divorce were transformed into healing love. The pain I held so tightly became lessons for how to love again and how to be in covenant with another person in the way God intended. This Easter was something that two years ago I would never have dreamed possible: a celebration with my wife and two step-children, our familial love a reflection of God’s love for the world made known at Easter.
It went by quickly, but Jesus was there the whole time, even when we didn’t notice. Now Easter is here, a whole season to feast and celebrate God’s love for us. But for my family, Easter is always with us in the second chance at love and life we found in each other.