Reflection verses for the month:
“But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has risen, as he said.” –Matthew 28:5- 6
“He is risen!! He is risen indeed!! Alleluia!”
Easter is my FAVORITE time in the church year. It’s better than Christmas. Yes, you read that right. I enjoy Christmas. But I love Easter–because it’s the fulfillment of the promise of Christmas, the fulfillment of allhuman hope, and God’s hopes for us. The news that Jesus is risen tells us that death and sin have been defeated. Both may still plague us, but the decisive battle against them has been won in Jesus’resurrection from the grave. Therefore, God’s love has won. God’s will for life, has won. God’s will for the eternal union of God with the world, has won. Because of Easter, the very structure of reality has been changed.Everything is different. Amazing, astounding news.
The challenge, of course, is to believe that impossible good news. We celebrate Easter for seven weeks in the church because great news deserves such a prolonged celebration. But we also celebrate for seven weeks, because we need to have that news unpacked for us, and reinforced within us. Like the first disciples huddled behind locked doors after the women have announced Jesus’ resurrection, we have to live into this good news. The old habits of fear and self-defense die hard. Doubts and second-guessing are easier than believing the women’s “idle tale”. But if it is true…well, how we do live differently? What changes in the way we treat people, in the way we spend our money and time? How does the bodily resurrection change the way we care for our bodies? We spend seven weeks pondering the infinite new world that resurrection opens. So after the Alleluias of Easter morning have faded, please plan to attend worship each of the next six Sundays. We’ll still be singing glorious Easter music, after all, and shouting Alleluia. And we’ll be reflecting together on some of the ways that Easter affects our lives. We’ll ponder how Easter emboldens the church to be church. We’ll reflect on how Easter encourages disciples to heal and serve. We’ll reflect on how Easter even opens the mouths of shy Lutherans and Presbyterians to shout the good news–because the good news is too good not to be shared.
Jesus is risen!! He is risen indeed!! Alleluia! Plan on being part of the celebration during the seven weeks of Easter!