The Word Among Us

Easter 2019 Issue

The Blessings of Expectant, Easter Faith

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Blessings of Expectant, Easter Faith: Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Imagine that you live in a house with a big hill in the backyard. Once springtime rolls around, you know that you’ll have to mow that hill week in, week out. At first you don’t mind, but as you grow older, that hill seems to get bigger and steeper. Then one day, a neighbor tells you that he has found a solution to your mowing problem. There’s a little-known mixture that, when sprinkled on the hill, works quietly but with incredible power to dissolve the rocks and level the hill. This mixture has the same ingredients as dynamite, but instead of instant results, it works over time—and a lot more quietly!

Well, the word dynamite comes from the Greek word dynamis, which means power. It’s the same word St. Paul uses when he prays that we may know “the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe, in accord with the exercise of his great might, which he worked in Christ, raising him from the dead” (Ephesians 1:19-20, emphasis added).

Now, you may not feel like you have spiritual dynamite, but God’s word says it’s true. As Christians, we know that the power of Jesus’ resurrection—the power that conquers sin and death—lives in us! You and I need to believe and trust in this power more than we trust our own thoughts and feelings.

Just as that little-known mixture works quietly but powerfully, so the power of Jesus’ resurrection tends to work quietly but forcefully in our lives. It may seem slow to us at times, but God is still working. The Holy Spirit, who you received in Baptism, is committed to you, and he is constantly finding ways to help change you into the image of Jesus Christ. His power, his dynamis, is unfolding in you, whether you are young or old, rich or poor, healthy or ailing.

Your Job: Expectant Faith. There’s one thing that you can do this Easter season if you want to experience this power more fully: raise your expectations. Believe that God wants to work in your life and in the lives of those you pray for! The only thing that seemed to limit Jesus’ power when he was on earth was people’s lack of expectant faith (Mark 6:5-6). But when people did believe, their lives were changed.

So every day during this season, which begins on Easter Sunday and ends with the feast of Pentecost, let’s tell the Lord, “Jesus, I give you the freedom to work powerfully in me. Change me, and transform me into your image. I give you the mountains in my life and in my family and ask you to turn them into level ground.” God may answer your prayer exactly the way you’ve asked, or he may have a different answer. But either way, there’s one thing we all can rely on: it’s that God is faithful. He will hear and answer our prayers—especially the ones we make with expectant faith.

Jeff Smith