Whatever the case, I know this: Nothing can keep God from loving us. No sin, no mistake, no voice, no message, no power on earth or heaven or hell can ever separate us from the love of God through Christ Jesus, our Savior. God gave everything, just so that we will know, “You are beloved. You are worthy of God’s love.”
One big thing we often forget to do as people of faith is be happy. Be joyful. See this world as and our lives and those who share it with us as a gift. We get so caught up into rules and debates and what we need to be doing next that those moments just fly by – or we miss them completely. We serve a God who created the hippo and giraffe, who gives us rainbows in the sky and sunsets on the horizon, who invites us to sing songs and dance and clap, who breaks into this world with absurd promises and actions of healing and love.
For us today, we think of peace as the absence of war, as anytime there is not explicit violence. But for Jesus, peace meant much more than that. While this gospel is written in Greek, the word Jesus himself would have spoken was “Shalom,” in either Hebrew or Aramaic. Shalom means many things, including peace. But it also means Wholeness. Completeness. Reconciliation. Forgiveness. Right relationships, with others and with God.
Easter is not the end. It is the beginning. It is the beginning of a long journey of faith and discovery – of who we are as redeemed by Christ, of who God is as savior and king and destroyer of death, and of what salvation looks like, not just in the life to come, but here in our world today.