The brightly colored baskets are put away. Most of the eggs on the lawn have been discovered, until the lawn mower crunches them the next time we mow. The Easter clothes are relegated to the back of the closet. The chocolate buzz is winding down. And the family has settled back in to the weekly routine.

Easter is over.   —  Or is it?

Some of you may have asked Jesus into your heart this weekend. Others may have renewed your commitment to Him. A few may have simply stepped into a church for the first time in a year — or ever. And a number of you stayed home and watched Easter festivities on television or your computer.

Good for you. And let me be the first to wish you …

Happy New Year!

That’s right. I said, Happy New Year!

I haven’t gotten my holidays mixed up, so let’s not break into a chorus of Jingle Bells just yet. No matter where we stand, our response to Easter marks the beginning of a new year for each of us.

The truth is you can’t ignore the cross, just like you can’t ignore a bill collector. He keeps coming back until he has collected what’s due. A debt is owed and it must be paid. Ignoring it or hiding from it won’t make it go away. Easter reminds us the debt we owe can’t be paid by us — the cost is too high. That’s what the cross was about — paying the debt for sin. But the cross is yesterday’s news. Today, it’s the Resurrection that marks a change in our lives.

Whatever your response was to Easter, please don’t let that wonderful moment slip away. It’s a new day and a new beginning. Our past doesn’t have to dictate our future. Like New Years resolutions, we can begin to make different choices from now on. Why is this time any different from the past? Because when we say “yes” to Jesus He promises to help us. The Resurrection is proof. Death couldn’t keep Jesus in the grave and with Jesus’ help the enemy can’t hold us down either.

That’s the good news. The reality is we need to take a few steps on our own.

We can join a church. We can open a Bible or get involved in a small group. We can begin to hang out with believers, or maybe just one who can help us explore this new territory we’ve stepped into.

My friends in Australia use this phrase: “A one-off.” It means it’s a one and done thing, a one-time event or happening that probably won’t be repeated. Our “Moment” on Easter should not be a “One off.” It’s a lifetime of new choices and adventures, new experiences and discoveries — about God and ourselves.

Let’s start down a new path today. After all, it’s spring and it’s a New Year!