Celebrating Easter during tax season reminds me of the minister who was taking a stroll and bumped into an old parishioner stumbling out of the corner bar, unshaven and shabbily dressed. The preacher asked, “Frank, what happened to you?” The man went on to tell a sad tale of misfortune that led to his downfall. So, the pastor told him, “Go home, open your Bible, put your finger down on whatever page it opens to, and that will be God’s answer for you.” Sometime later, the minister bumped into Frank who was stepping out of a luxury car wearing an expensive suit. The minister said, “Frank, things have really turned around for you.” Frank replied, “Yes preacher, I owe it all to you. I went home, opened the Bible, put my finger down on the page, just like you told me, and there was my answer—Chapter 11!”

This is “sort of” what Easter is about: forgiveness of our past mistakes and failures, giving us a new start at life. This is Christianity! We often choose to live without God’s input, messing up our lives and the lives of others with our sinful choices. Instead of punishing us, the Lord sent Jesus to live the life we should have lived and suffer death for us. Why? Because God forgives and loves us!

In this world, where there are so many voices that attack our self-worth and diminish our value, Jesus says you matter to God. You are valuable to Him – to bring Jesus into this world, to find when you get lost, to forgive when you fail, and to save from the consequences of sin. God desires to walk with you, inviting you to participate with His plan and purpose for your life.

His Holy Spirit will guide you to a new attitude and lifestyle—defined by love, His love. “Christ will make His home in your heart as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong” (Ephesians 3:17). Invite Jesus to speak into your heart, guide your thoughts, and direct you to abundant, eternal life. Choose resurrected life!