My friend, Sam Riviera, wrote this about how he spent Easter:
How sweet the sound.
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost,
But now am found.
But now I see.
We spent Easter morning with the outcast — the lame, the halt, the thieves, the alcoholics, the drug-addicts, the murderers. We climbed out of our warm beds and headed out into the streets laden with bags of clothes, food and water. We shared what we had with those who had slept under bushes, on the ground and any other place they could find.
Happy Easter! Happy Easter! Almost every person greeted us with “Happy Easter!”
These are supposed to be the people who don’t know Jesus. Yet they know Jesus. They have seen Jesus walking among them. He has danced with them. He loves them. They like Jesus.
Jesus was with them in prison. He visited them there. He was with them in Southeastern Asia when they spent the years rotting away in bamboo cages lowered into holes. He was with them as they walked the streets of America, looking for a place to lay their head. They told us Jesus was with them.
“Grace. It’s all about grace. No matter had bad we screw up, God’s grace is still good. He never forgets us. He’s always there. He’s always been there for me. He’s been there the last eighteen years while I’ve traveled around the country. I don’t have a dime to my name, but I’ve got God’s grace. It’s all about grace. Don’t ever forget that.”
So said the man sitting on the sidewalk on Easter morning. The man with no home. The man with nothing. But he knows that Jesus lives!
“See this mark behind my ear,” said another. That’s where the VC shot me. The bullet came out through my nose. See this big white patch on my thigh” he said, pulling up his pant leg. “That’s where they got the skin to graft onto the left side of my face. Another bullet ripped a big hole there and they had to patch it. God got me through it and He’ll get you through whatever comes your way too.”
We went to give a cup of water, a warm coat. We found Easter. The risen Jesus had been there. The risen Jesus was there, walking among those outcast and despised by the world. He too had been outcast and despised. He knows what it’s like. He walks among those He loves. They see Him. They see the One who was despised, rejected and afflicted. He is one of them.
He is risen!
He is risen indeed!
He walks among His people.
He loves us. Whether we’re thieves, adulterers, liars, cheats, gluttons, alcoholics or murderers, He loves us.
Whether we see Him in a fancy building with stained glass windows or dancing with us in the streets, He’s there. He’s alive.
If you haven’t seen Him, walk with those who do see Him. Perhaps you’ll catch a glimpse. Perhaps He’ll come and sit with you. Perhaps He’ll dance with you.