Firstfruits began with an idea: How could women’s needs to gather with other women, experience God’s love and go forth more centered on their own giftedness and purpose be met? Then the Holy Spirit stepped in and something powerful happened!
In the beginning … Firstfruits began as a vision for a women’s ministry whose purpose was to gather women to experience God’s love. And as a result, be transformed!

As word spread about this unique opportunity, other parishes became interested in hosting a Firstfruits gathering. It became apparent to the founders of Firstfruits that this “gathering” needed to be moveable. We became known as a moveable feast of spiritual opportunities for women.

Easter Everyday

The bunny wreath is off the door. The Swiffer discovered the last of the runaway jelly beans under the couch. The Easter bonnets are in the dress up bin. Oh wait, make that the stocking hats. I didn’t see any Easter bonnets in church this year. I did see a few bare legs in anklets and patent leather shoes running into church. Brr……I don’t remember Easter being so cold when I was growing up. Global warming, I’m not so sure.

We had a few Kodak moments with the grand babies this Easter. Audrey, who is new to the whole Easter egg hunt concept being that she isn’t quite two yet, figured she needed to hoard the contents of each egg as she found them. She quickly looked like a chipmunk in late fall. Then she decided she really didn’t like jelly beans and malted milk eggs so she opened her mouth and let them fall out all over her pretty pink dress. The two oldest grandkids decided they weren’t done dyeing when the hard-boiled eggs ran out so they dipped their fists in the dye cups when I wasn’t looking. Gotta love em!

In spite of the mishaps and the cold weather I still love Easter. It is my favorite day of the church year. It signals an end and a hopeful beginning.

I’ve heard the Easter Vigil, the service on the evening of Holy Saturday, described as the “turning of the final page in a really good book.” You finally get to see how the story ends. In this case it’s the story we remember over and over again during Lent, that is the Passion and death of Jesus. Easter Sunday is the end of the story, the resurrection, but it’s also just the beginning. A beautiful beginning and that is why I love it so.

The Easter Season in the liturgical year begins the day after Easter Sunday and ends on Pentecost Sunday. (A bit of Catholic trivia.) It’s the time when we celebrate the victory of Christ over sin and death for all who believe in Him. The season ends with Pentecost, the descent of the Holy Spirit to empower the disciples of Christ for the work ahead of them. It’s also the time when we read about the transforming power of the risen Christ to turn skeptics into believers.

In the introduction to The Easter Season section in my daily prayer guide called Sacred Reading (a great book by The Apostleship of Prayer) there were two sentences that really struck me. It says, “In the gospels, we read how the disciples received the amazing news that Jesus is not dead but lives. At first, many of them are skeptical, but they come to believe as Jesus shows himself again and again.”

There are two wonderful truths to glean from this. One is that we all can be disciples of Christ, that is dedicated followers. It’s a choice. The second is that Jesus didn’t just show himself to the early disciples. He shows himself again and again to modern day disciples. That is you and me now if we make the choice, open our eyes, and believe.

As the days lengthen and the air warms (Hopefully!) and the tulips and daffodils arrive for their yearly visit, our minds more easily grasp the concepts of newness and beginnings. Is this Easter Season calling you to a new beginning? Skeptic to believer? Believer to committed follower? Committed follower to deeper commitment? Don’t hold back.

In response Jesus will show himself to you. Be open to the out of the ordinary, simple ways he will show himself to you again and again. Like the laughter of little ones with fuchsia colored hands!

Joan

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Joan Carey, Firstfruits executive director, is an author and speaker with a passion for helping women grow in their relationships with God. Her Ponder This book contains a series of modern day parables sure to get you thinking about and seeing our extraordinary God in our ordinary experiences. Joan invites you to use resources on this website for daily reflection in your journey to grow in God's loving care for you.
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