Easter Reflection

I have vivid memories growing up as a PK in the 90s during the Easter Season: Creative and memorable Children’s Church lessons with salvation bracelet crafts (you know, the one with a pipe cleaner and colorful, plastic beads, each one representing a different part of the gospel), crescent roll tombs and disappearing marshmallows (mind-blowing and delicious), and vibrant green palm branches waving as we sing, “Hosanna.”  For the Kennedy’s, it also meant watching my dad prepare his message for hours, usually accompanied by a seven-day, water-only fast which meant Aaron and I ate sandwiches all week, doing everything we could to make the fast easier for dad. We usually didn’t mind, especially since our momma made the BEST sandwiches.

That week also meant a trip to Belk’s to pick out a new dress and fresh pair of white, roll-down ruffle socks to go with my white patent leather, Mary-Jane shoes. Saturday night, momma would paint my nails with clear nail polish while dad and Aaron would lay out their suits and paisley ties.  Easter Sunday was all-hands-on-deck for us as we prepared our hearts and the House for the people who would walk through the doors of Opendoor Church seeking, finding, and rejoicing in the resurrection of Jesus. When all of the people were gone, the lights turned off and doors locked, we rushed back to our home (a parsonage in the parking lot) and opened our colorful Easter baskets and enjoyed the most delicious Easter lunch, complete with flank steak, cheese potatoes, green beans, ice cream pie, and every once in a while, Sunday at the Masters.

This week, the Easter baskets that were once perfectly filled and decorated might just be a bucket of empty plastic eggs with a broken handle. The outfits might be in the washing machine and, if you are at my house, will be washed at least twice before I remember to move them to the dryer.  If we aren’t careful, we will close the book on Easter week and start a new week forgetting that Jesus is still seeking, finding, and rejoicing over us.

I’ve always loved the red-letter words of Jesus in Matthew 7:7-8:

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for.  Keep on seeking, and you will find.  Keep on knocking, and the door will open to you.  For everyone who asks, receives.  Everyone who seeks find. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”

That’s a promise, ya’ll.  

It’s pretty simple, but we make it hard.  We try to make it fit in a box that we can understand, make excuses for it and run away.  We let our foot off the gas of our pursuit for a Jesus who never does.

Take time this week to reflect and ask Jesus where are the places you have grown complacent or have doubt in your heart and take time to walk with Him. Ask Him to ignite a hunger in our hearts for Him.

Burn baby, burn.

He is Risen and Pentecost is coming!
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Caroline Edwards - April 3rd, 2024 at 7:51am

Wonderful memories Miriam! ..I remember your mom releasing Beautiful Butterflies that all of the open door kids had cared for as they transitioned into a new life. That was always so special and Angel still speaks of it to this day! I have pictures!. Sunday was so sweet and emotional

Colette Jagoda - April 3rd, 2024 at 8:33am

Miriam! I am so blessed reading this through tears today ! Well said. This past Sunday's service was so encouraging and uplifting, my Faith SOARED with the revelation of Resurrection Life for my sweet Christopher! And what this means for me and Tom today. .. I sobbed in Gods sweet presence. Sobbed, and received immediate Peace in the presence of our Prince of Peace. In light of what you said, the past couple of days my heart is so hungry and determined to dive deeper into Jesus! So good, right?! The Lord nudges and provokes, and our response should never be that we are okay with an experience we had in the past. I am with you! Thank you and Praise God for OpenDoor! As a side note, I would just love to "sample" one of moms amazing sandwiches! Haahaa!!