Easter, a Time for Renewing All Things, Especially Our Nation
Less than a year removed from a near-fatal motorcycle accident, former Congressman Lt. Col. Allen West shares a Holy Week message of hope and restoration.
As our thoughts turn to springtime and Easter, I am always grateful for the sense of renewal we experience this time of year. New blooms are budding on the trees, baby animals are frolicking in their pastures, and the sun is shining once again. Many find this season more inspiring than New Year’s, when it comes to new commitments and a chance to start over in reaching goals we may not have accomplished with previous attempts.
Easter is very much this type of reset for those who believe in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, whose death, burial and resurrection we celebrate on this most important of holy days. Without it, there would have been no forgiveness of sins, no sense of wiping the slate clean. Thankfully, for the Christian, this is something we can experience every day as we repent and move forward in greater commitment to our Lord and Savior.
A Time of Renewal and Restoration
This year, I am especially hopeful that we can have a greater sense of this time of renewal and restoration as a nation, as we seek to leave behind the sins of the past. There is no argument that we have come through a dark time this last year, and we all are hopeful that we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel in the next few weeks. And where there have been arguments and disagreements — especially politically — in the previous 12 months, I expect that we can all admit we have at times spoken too harshly or responded too quickly without thinking things through thoroughly.
There is no greater time than now to cast off the guilt and mistakes of the past, and move forward in a renewed commitment to live a life inspired by the example of our Lord and Savior, who was willing to sacrifice Himself to reconcile every human being with God our Father and with one another. If we all can undertake to live with just a small portion of the humility He exhibited, I know we can do better as a people and a nation.
So, let us lift our face to the warm sunshine, shrug those old guilty burdens off our shoulders, greet one another with smiles and positive expectations, and live at peace with one another. That does not mean we don’t try to change things that we see are wrong, but it does mean praying about it first, then responding with wisdom, and if anything needs confronting, doing so with grace and humility.
Jesus as Our Example
Once again, we have as our example in this kind of response our Lord and Savior, who responded with wise humility to the mob who sought to stone to death Mary Magdalene. His intervention led to her spiritual restoration, which should always be our end goal when we are trying to right a wrong. And then of course, there are times when righteous anger is justified, such as when Jesus saw His Father’s house, the temple, being defiled by those who were cheating the poor. He responded with vigor and resolve, but yet without sin. These examples are evidence of how we must take a stand, but to do so in a way that brings honor to our Lord, as we seek to restore our nation and turn the hearts of its people to our Savior.
I am reminded of our instructions from Paul in the Scriptures: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18, NIV). Can you imagine if every individual in our nation made such a commitment to start fresh, living under that mantra this Easter? We would see a renewal and restoration like nothing that has been experienced since perhaps the first Great Awakening that preceded the birth of our nation, leading eventually to our United States of America. Wouldn’t it be great to see that again?
Lt. Col. (ret.) Allen West is president and CEO of The Hope Center, a 501(c)(3) collaborative hub of Christian ministries making a global impact for God’s Kingdom. Lt. Col. West is a combat veteran, former Member of the U.S. Congress, author, speaker and chair of the Texas GOP.