After Easter Day

It was a joy to attend and participate in Easter services at Bryn Mawr this past Sunday. The outdoor early morning service had a totally different feel than the services in the sanctuary. Did you see the cross in the churchyard covered in flowers?  Did the glorious ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ and Easter hymns ring in your mind for a while? But now, Easter Day is over. However, I hope the ramifications of it are not!  

We live in a world where many storytellers don’t include the concept of resurrection in how they define life and death. Some of their stories assert that death ends life in hopeless finality and futility. Some of these stories are even filled with cynicism and disparagement of a life of faith and service.

As I think about what it must have been like for Jesus’ disciples soon after his death, I imagine they were ready to believe just that kind of storyteller. After all, the natural order of things certainly indicated that when someone gets killed, that person stays dead. The non-Easter storyteller told them that violence and death were the strongest powers, and nothing could change that, so they might as well accept it. They must have also felt that their dreams, their hopes, and their future were all dead because Jesus was dead. That had to be an extremely painful loss, which would make it unlikely that they would be ready to embrace the vulnerability of new hope anytime soon.        

But the events of Easter beckoned them and us to listen to a different storyteller. Death would no longer define life, but rather, life could now define death. We are not called to follow a dead hero but a living Lord. Yes, things currently may look like they did prior to this past Sunday, but Jesus is risen, and we can dare to see new possibilities for transformation. We reach what we think is the tragic end of a defining story, but Jesus is risen, which opens the way to amazing new beginnings. There may appear to be no way to move forward, but Jesus is risen, and we are empowered to believe that God can make a way out of no way. Yes, the ways of death and despair seem to be most powerful in our world, but Jesus has risen, which points us toward the idea that life, peace, and hope can blossom.  

Let’s dare to listen to and allow ourselves to be shaped by the resurrection storytellers, and we’ll discover a Lord who brings everlasting life, love, joy, and meaning to our hearts and our world. We, as part of humanity, do so much to discount the amazing story of God’s life-giving power, but Jesus is risen! With a resurrection story that redefines us and our world, the impact of Easter is far from being over! Alleluia!