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Fresh starts.  Everyone could use one.  Whether it is a friendship that has recently soured or a pot of chicken soup that just doesn’t taste right – sometimes we just wish we could start over. 

As a parent, I am constantly aware of my desire for a fresh start.  Just this morning I reflected that my first words spoken were harsh words.   Can I have a do- over please?  Even on days when I “try” really hard – I still fall so short of the mark.  Worse still, I have a front row seat to the havoc and chaos that flow out of my poor choices.  Perhaps just returning to bed for the day will make it all go away. 

This need for a fresh start is exactly what lies at the heart of the Easter story.  Easter is not about fixing something up.  It is not about trying harder.  It is not the next episode in some extreme makeover show.   Our human nature is found woefully inadequate at every turn and requires much more than a fresh coat of paint.  Easter is a story of new beginning.  Easter ushers in a new age, not marked by patchwork fix-ups – rather it is a radical era in which the old is forgotten and the gift of new life is offered to all.   

The God revealed in Easter does not leave any of us in a pit of despair.  He breaks in.  He bends low.  He bears us on his back.  He breaks us out of wherever we are stuck.  He buoys our spirit and gives us the do-over we long for- this time in His company.  I know I may not yet be perfect, but in Christ Jesus, I have the Easter gift of a fresh start.  It is an Easter gift offered to you, too.  It may just be the fresh start you’ve been looking for. 

 “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

-Philippians 3: 12-14 NIV