I love springtime! Nature that was sleeping now springs to life! Grass sprouts up green, and flowers blossom as life-giving nutrients flow up through their roots. The birds’ songs even seem brighter with each morning’s dawn. Easter arrives during this time which reminds me of the eternal life, complete forgiveness, and reconciliation with the Father that we’ve been given.

I’m a Lord of the Rings fan! I love reading about the characters’ adventures, their struggles, and the victories they achieve! There are so many great stories within these pages. Join along with me as I share just a part of a much bigger story and see how it might relate to us.

There are many kingdoms in this fictitious setting of Middle Earth, and they all have one common enemy – Sauron. Sauron is trying to destroy every race except the evil one he created. Every kingdom is united by this common destruction of Sauron and his pursuit of dominion. One by one, the kingdoms are destroyed by Sauron, and now he reaches the Kingdom of Gondor with an enormous army. Gondor cannot withstand this army alone and sends word to the other kingdoms for help. When word reaches the King of Rohan, he asks a curious question from a supposed ally of a common foe, “Why should we ride to the aid of those who did not come to ours? What do we owe Gondor?” But before we write this off as just some fictitious story, I would propose that we might see real life exposed here.

As Christians, we fight against a common enemy, too, satan. By sharing the Good News of Jesus, we’re in great opposition with this evil one. If a fellow Christian is in trouble, we should be the first to aid them, right? But sometimes aid doesn’t arrive. “What have they done for us? Did they help us when we were in trouble?” Maybe our questions are a bit more subtle. “They liked a certain (media post, political party, certain organization). Why should I help?” Or maybe our thoughts are, “They believe differently about God than me. I don’t need to help.” You can fill in the blanks. And what about non-Christians who don’t even know about this battle against them or who is luring them away from God and yet, we still don’t help?

Let us put aside all our differences, fight together against the true enemy, and be the ambassadors of love this spring, allowing Jesus to shine through us brightly!

This may seem drastic, but my question is this – are we willing to do whatever’s necessary to help someone, to come alongside them if it’s inconvenient or uncomfortable, if they go against what we think is right, or if they think differently than us? I feel too often we are quick to justify why we shouldn’t help because of an offense or hurts we’ve experienced. But Christ didn’t do that with us, and if we’re followers of Jesus, then we need to follow His heart!

2 Corinthians 5:15-20 says that Christ died for everyone and those who receive His new life, no longer live for themselves. Christ died for us all, and as verse 16 states, “So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view.” We’re called to see people through Christ’s love and not our human mindset! (emphasis added)

The Message version paraphrases verses 18-20 like this:
All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and Him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with Himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what He is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ Himself now: Become friends with God; He’s already a friend with you.”

God reconciled us to Himself and forgave us of everything! Our job here on earth is to point people to Jesus so they can experience His life-giving love! We can’t do that if we’re offended. As Christians, we aren’t living for ourselves anymore. We are living for Christ alone! It’s not easy, but it is possible with the Holy Spirit’s help.

This Easter, let us reflect upon the selfless love Christ showed us! His death and willing sacrifice brought us into reconciliation with the Father, access into His very presence, and adopted into His family. Let our hearts be changed to be every bit like Him. If He did this for us, we must do this for others! Let us put aside all our differences, fight together against the true enemy, and be the ambassadors of love this spring, allowing Jesus to shine through us brightly! The people we could reach could be countless!

 

By Pastor Kim Burnell

Kim Burnell is Assistant Campus Pastor at Love Church Winchester. She’s passionate about God’s Word, people finding life in Jesus, and encouraging others along life’s journey. She’s been married to her high-school sweetheart, Ed, for 37 years. They have 5 children and 8 grandchildren, and love their family time together out at their country home!

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