I have sweet memories of the Eastertime of my childhood – a time filled with spring flowers, sunrise services, and a new outfit complete with white patent leather shoes and purse, white gloves, a summer hat! I loved just thinking about Easter. And then there were the Easter Baskets – getting up Easter morning for a search around the housef or the basket with my name on it! The basket would contain bright colored jelly beans, yellow peeps, a new barrette, a jump rope, and, best of all, a chocolate bunny! How I anticipated biting into the sweet tasty bunny! I could hardly delay long enough to peel the golden aluminum from the candy. And the moment arrived – I always started at the ear – the first bite – and sometimes it was a solid bite – the chocolate ear breaking off cleanly, deliciously into my mouth; but sometimes the entire bunny crumbled in my hand. Sadly, my chocolate bunny was hollow.
Our lives can be like the bunny – the joy in our life determined by all the externals – like owning stuff, wearing fashionable clothes, driving a new car with many bells and whistles, having a fancy title at work, living our lives through the success of our children. I’m not saying those things are bad in themselves; they are transitory fleeting in nature. When we base our happiness on those sorts of things we are setting ourselves up for disappointment when they fail to deliver on the promises given by TV shows, advertising, and our society.
So what fills our joy bunny? What can we depend upon? What solidifies the joy in our lives?
John recorded Jesus’ prescription for joy in John 15 starting with verse 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. …. This is my command: Love each other. The apostle Peter tells us in 1 Peter 1:8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.
Our lives may get scuffed and bruised, we may suffer disappoints, loose our stuff; our kids may fail but when we live our life love Jesus and believe in Him; when we rely upon His promise; if we keep his command and love each other our lives will be filled with joy – our Joy bunny will be full!
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.