by Jon DeActis
So Easter is over and it’s 7 a.m. the next week day. The streets are very much alive downtown, some with bustling groups of people going to work, no doubt wanting to get some things done before everyone else arrives (been there, done that).
I also notice how many people walking the streets that are pushing grocery carts, sitting in front of store entrances and already posted in the intersections of downtown, looking for a donation for their sustenance for the day, whatever that may be.
The past three days, Easter has been so prevalent with multiple church services (churches are packed on Easter Sunday), family get-togethers, the Easter bunny, and more food than you can shake a stick at. My church is miles from the downtown area. It makes me wonder who reaches out to those on the streets in downtown London. Two shelters, blocks away from one another and literally hundreds of homeless people wandering. Maybe it’s just not a church’s responsibility but all of ours?
So what now? What does Easter mean to those on the streets struggling with the haunts of life, trauma, addiction, and mental health? Did Easter have any importance? Is Easter just a few days each year or is it a lifestyle?
Jesus walked the streets. He had people issues – many did not like him or believe him. He preached on “street corners” (maybe even begged for a meal or two – remember Zacchaeus) with a message of love, grace, and peace, much unlike other street preachers we hear way too much about (but hey, they need Jesus too). He didn’t hand out flyers but he did talk and he did have the personal touch.
Maybe Easter is way more than “the story” — maybe Easter is about the relationships that lead to the story. When was the last time you asked someone on the street or begging on the street corner to have lunch with you, go for a coffee, or just caring for them by talking to them and discovering who they are. They are a whole lot more than just what meets your eye. When was the last time you told someone the Easter story – it is life changing!
It strikes me – am I always living out the message of Easter or am I just okay doing the church thing and keeping the message to myself. He HAS risen, He IS risen indeed!