Walter Brueggemann in “A Way Other Than Our Own: Devotions for Lent” writes: “Israel keeps telling the same story over and over. It is the story of going into pain and coming out in joy. It is the story of facing loss and receiving a gift. Most especially it is, in the Old Testament, the story of losing home in sadness and coming home to well-being. When that story gets retold by the church, it is the story of a Friday death and a Sunday miracle of new life.”
In the midst of these uncertain days we come to the place of faith. We live in a world where death, life, loss and resurrection are interwoven into the fabric of our existence. They are part of our experience. We grieve our losses, and our hurts. Our hearts are heavy. We weary of life.
Then a day comes when we wake to the song of a bird. We smell the fresh breath of a bright spring morning. Something makes us smile and a seed of life stirs in our spirits. No sudden resurrection ours, rather there is a gradual living into life. We thought our life was over. We thought that we couldn’t go on. We thought that no one who experienced such a terrible, devastating loss could continue. We were ready to give up on life and love. We felt violated, ashamed, broken, but then Easter came. Easter made the difference.
Easter arrives with its joyful surprise . . . God’s unexpected answer to evil following a week of unthinkable pain. “He is not here, for he is Risen,” Matthew 28:6. This ancient affirmation says it all. A day comes when we realize that life is good, truly a gift that God has given us. God’s promise is real. Life is stronger that death. Love does conquer evil. The power of Easter is found not only in the promise of a life after this life, but in the reality we live in today. Easter is God’s gift to those who have walked through the shadows and lived Good Friday’s pain.
Easter with it’s resounding message of hope will not be contained. War and the repercussions of war cannot destroy it’s message. Illness and the power of a pandemic can not control its promise. May you rejoice in Easter’s triumph as you celebrate Christ’s resurrection, God’s overcoming of death . . . the source of life and goodness in our lives. Rejoice! The Lord is risen, is risen indeed!