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Easter is a New Story

How do you get ready for Easter? Do you get dressed in beautiful colors, hunt for eggs, send pastel cards with sweet poems to faraway family members? Do you buy chocolate bunnies, plan a nice dinner, set the table with a pastel-colored tablecloth? These are the things we do these days, knowing that Easter is coming. But what is Easter like if you don’t know it’s coming, if you don’t have time to prepare? What if you are one of the women who watched Jesus die, waking in darkness, eyes swollen and red from crying, getting up and slipping through dark streets to go to the tomb of the one you have loved and followed for so long? If you don’t know about Easter, then it is not a festival of pastel colors. Instead, Easter begins in darkness and disappointment.

And we have to admit that we humans have all known darkness and disappointment. We have grieved the loss of someone dear to us; we have watched in anguish as a loved one has made destructive choices; we have agonized over our own mistakes. We look at the world around us and the list of things to worry about and pray for grows longer with every news cycle. We see people on the streets without homes, we watch migrants and refugees search for safety, we experience a world full of violence and division. Disappointment, fear, and danger are a part of human life.

As Jesus’ followers woke that Sunday morning and dressed and went out to slip through dark city streets just coming to life, they knew the life they had built with their Master was gone. The hopes, dreams, vision of a new way to live, a new way to love – all of that was over. The world was back to normal: heartbreaking, infuriating, devastating normal. The kind of normal that knows life is ruled by death, the end of every story.

But Easter is a new story, a new, astounding truth. Death cannot hold the Son of God down; death has given way to life. Not springtime and bunnies and flowers, not life that springs naturally out of earth; not the kind of life you wear pastel colors for as you celebrate a nice spring holiday. Not any kind of life we understand, but life that contradicts the most fundamental thing we know – that life always ends in death. This resurrection life of Jesus says that the Good Fridays of the world are never the end of the story. Evil does not have last word, death does not write the last chapter. God has the last word, and because that Word is Jesus, alive then as he will be for eternity, we know that all Jesus’ promises to us are true: the glorious promise that God will be with us always, to the end of the ages; the joyful promise of abundant life for us and for God’s whole creation; the radiant promise that you and I are forgiven and restored as children of God. God sends us out from the darkness of the tomb to tell God’s story, and to share Christ’s love, bringing new hope to all those who suffer as we serve them in Christ’s name. The hope Jesus brings is hope for the world, that the followers of Jesus may transform all the places of disappointment, fear, and danger with his astounding love. The Lord is Risen, and Jesus Christ is loose, and the world today is new, so we say: Alleluia! Christ is risen!

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Category: #Bishop's Blog, #Sundays, #Worship & Formation

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