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By Naomi Houston

Avery Countynaomi and clay houston

Packed away are the decorations. The long forty days of Lent with its emphasis on drawing closer to our Lord has come to an end, the Passion of Holy Week is behind us, the breakfast, the Sunrise Service, the overflow crowds who filled the pews on Easter Sunday morning and joined in the joyful singing of “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” – all are behind us and – Now What?

That first Sunday after Easter reminds us of the week following Christmas – when the tree no longer shines as brightly, all the pretty gifts are gone with only scraps of wrapping paper and ribbons left to be removed, the decorations are not as pretty, the poinsettias are fading and facing us is 90 days of January!  From the seasonal high of just a week ago, we now find ourselves back facing ordinary life.  Where do we go from here?

Everyday life pales when compared to the resurrection of Jesus.  But ordinary life is where we live.  And it’s easy to forget that the ordinary life without the excitement, the singing, the Easter Bonnets, and the Bunny Rabbits more resembles the original Easter so many Sundays ago.  Those disciples huddled together in fear – not faith.  Even after the realization that Christ had risen we read in John 21 Simon Peter’s announcement to those gathered with him that he was “going fishing” and they all replied that they “were going with him.”

It’s easy to slip back into our old way of life.  While there was excitement surrounding the first days of Christianity it soon became a thing of habit, tradition, and nominal.  The writings of First John and Jude were written at a time when the early Christians were becoming plagued by lethargy and heresy.  Those are very much alive in our churches today.

Acts 1:8 tells us “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.  You will be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth.”  A witness testifies to what he has seen and heard and that is true of our Christian witness. Some have more to say than others but what is important is that we share what we’ve seen and heard and experienced of God’s amazing grace.  Sharing what we know of God’s love is one of the best ways we have of leading others to Christ.  It’s also how we keep the joy of Easter continuing in our world.  There is a saying:  “Someone first told you about Jesus; who have you told lately?”

After Peter and the others went fishing we read later in John 21 of how they fished all night and caught nothing.  As they were preparing to come ashore the next morning they observed someone on the shoreline who they did not recognize.  This person inquired about their fishing success to which they replied they had caught nothing.  He then instructed them to cast their nets again.  Following the instructions their nets were filled and Peter at once recognized that it was Jesus.  When they came ashore it was obvious that Jesus had also prepared breakfast and had it waiting for them.  They were astonished at best!  Jesus steps into our lives in the same way and on this “normal” Sunday and those that follow we are reminded to come to Him who first came to us.  He fills our lives with hope.  He has defeated death and the grave so that we may have eternal life.  Now that Easter is over – the question is “Will you be a fisherman” or “Will you be a witness”?


Naomi Houston and her husband, Lt Col Clay Houston USMC Retired, live on Henson Creek in Avery County.  They are members of Mt Zion Community Church where Naomi is the adult Sunday School teacher. Both have been actively involved in church throughout their 68 years of marriage and Naomi wrote a weekly column for the Avery Post for many years.


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