Last Easter my husband and I were able to travel back to our hometown and worship with our families in the church where we grew up. It was a wonderful service! Our pastor preached on how Jesus’ resurrection is the initiation of the new creation that is to come. Because Christ rose from the dead we will all rise again when he returns as a redeemed part of the new creation. The hymns and worship songs were wonderful, family was nearby, and the sermon so beautifully proclaimed the joyous Easter message. Naturally my heart wanted to respond and I enjoyed praising God for what he has done for us.
It was daughter’s first Easter. She was just one day shy of six months old, and I was excited to put her in her very first Easter dress, which was a beauty. She looked adorable. We got to church and she fussed and fussed in the pew as we waited for the service to start. Then, during the opening hymn, she spit up all over her dress. After I cleaned her up she promptly fell asleep and slept through the rest of the service.
As I sat there holding her and listening to the Easter readings, I was reminded of how perfectly she showed what it means to have faith like a child.
“And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.” ~ Mark 10:13-16
There we were, listening to a proclamation of what Christ has done for us and feeling moved to respond. But in a very real sense, our response was about as significant as hers was. We are saved by God’s actions and grace. Whether we stand and sing his praise or sleep through church, God’s gift of grace and faith does not change.
It reminded me of the day our baby girl was baptized at just six weeks old. She slept through that entire event too. How perfectly that demonstrates our inability to have faith on our own! God promised to come to her in baptism and give her that gift of faith. No response or action was required on her part.
I feel like having a baby has provided me with a beautiful illustration of what it means to rely entirely on God. God graciously works in us without requiring a response. That’s a very good thing, because all too often my response to God’s grace is to ignore it, not share it with others, or to take it for granted. But despite how I may or may not respond, God’s response to me is always faithfulness.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself…” 2 Corinthians 5:17-18
My daughter woke up during the final song. She was in such a good mood! She shared my Easter joy and smiled for the camera as we took our first Easter picture as a family of three.