A couple years ago we traded in my older Toyota truck for a newer Ford Truck. The main reason being we couldn’t fit a car seat in the older truck. Although the new truck was “pre-owned”, it had that new car feel and smell. I love that smell and feel.
Over the course of a few years the old Toyota had lost some of its luster. There were stains on the floors, and there was the epic incident of the package of chicken breast sliding under the back seat and becoming lost during a hot summer day. All to say, the Toyota had lost its new car smell. There were a few dings on the outside, but overall it was still a good vehicle. Yet, we needed room to expand. My wife didn’t want to be the one always having to transport Eleanor. We traded cars for a while, but that got old. Thus, we eventually elected to trade in the old truck for a newer one. And like I said, though it was “pre-owned”, it was still new to me.
However, after a couple years, it too lost some of its luster. There are Rice Krispies all over the place even after vacuuming. It’s like there is a Rice Krispy farm in there. They just keep showing up. There have been a few spilled drinks, not all Eleanor’s doing either. And there are a few dings in the doors and a cracked light cover. I may or may not have hit my mailbox by accident. Though I haven’t left any chicken in the cab by accident, the new car smell is gone too. It has slowly lost its luster. I’m certainly not dissatisfied with my truck. In fact, I enjoy it a lot. But its luster and sparkle is slowly fading.
This is inevitable, and it’s bound to happen with almost anything – cars, shoes, clothes. At some point items will begin to fade, crack, and break down. This can even happen to our faith unless we are diligent in our response to God’s grace. I bet your plastic Easter eggs are packed away. In fact, the beautiful Easter cross in our Sanctuary has already wilted. It could be so easy for Easter and the growth which happened in Lent to fade. However, the Resurrection calls us to new life, resurrected life in the Kingdom of God. Such requires a continual commitment and drive toward this life. The Resurrection was an awakening moment for the disciples, and it can be for us as well. Recognizing Christ is alive should propel us to new depths in our faith. The sparkle of Easter will fade if we treat Easter as a one day celebration in which we heard great music, experienced powerful worship, and a decent sermon. However, it will not fade if we recognize the Resurrection is a way of life begun the day Jesus rose from the grave and continues even today. Easter calls us into a new life which neither rusts nor moths destroy.
So we are left with the decision to continue to walk the Easter journey. We are left with the decision to believe Christ is alive. And belief is more than an intellectual affirmation of the event of Jesus’ Resurrection. Belief is a willingness to alter the way you live in light of God’s work in Jesus. It means dying to old ways and living in God’s ways. It means risking advocating for the Kingdom and letting your worldly hopes and dreams go. Only if we chose to continue down this path will Easter continue to keep its sparkle for us. It’s left up to us to recognize Jesus among us and to follow.