As we approach Easter it’s good to remember that despite all that’s happening at the moment, there are still many people who make this world a better place. And one of those people is Tommy Kleyn, who lives in the Netherlands. A few years ago while riding his bicycle to work along a riverbank in Rotterdam, he became quite frustrated with the large amount of litter and plastic bottles that was building up there. But instead of moaning about it, he decided to do something. It took him just 30 minutes to collect enough rubbish to fill a sack. But there was so much litter lying around that one sackful made very little difference. So, he decided to pick up one sackful of rubbish each day, and after about a week, the riverbank was cleared. He documented his efforts online, and through seeing what he accomplished many others around the world have followed his example, and have started cleaning up the areas where they live. I’m sure you’ll agree, a litter-free environment is a less stressful, and more attractive place to live.
At the end of this week, we’ll be celebrating Easter here in the UK. For weeks the shops have been filled with all sorts of chocolate eggs and colourful, Easter decorations covered in rabbits and flowers. These are a lovely reminder that Spring has arrived, but surprisingly have very little to do with the celebration of Easter. In fact, Tommy Freyn’s example of personally collecting litter to make the world a better place, is far more in keeping with the spirit of Easter. Because it’s at this time of year that we remember how Jesus died and rose again to clean up the mess that we’ve made, not only of this world, but of our own lives too. 2,000 years ago He took the blame for all the wrong things I’ve done, dying in my place and yours on a cross, so that we can know God’s love and forgiveness, even though we don’t deserve it. However, He didn’t come just to set us free from our wrongdoing, but to change us from the inside out. Today He offers a new start in life to all those who sincerely put their future in His hands. As one of his closest followers wrote:
“Jesus Himself carried our sins in his body on the cross so that freed from our sins, we could live a life that has God’s approval.”1 Peter 2:24 (NOG)
Jesus made it possible for us to know God, and that’s the message of Easter!