The Rev. Janice C. Ford, Rector
The Church of the Reconciliation (Episcopal)
5 North Main Street, Webster, MA
The Cadbury Bunny commercials are on TV again, so it must be Easter. I mean, after all, if not for those ads, Easter baskets, flowering plants, and bright new outfits how else would we know? How, indeed? Maybe the fact that Christians around the world have spent the past forty days thinking and praying about their lives and what it means to be true disciples of Christ, together with the praise and passion of Palm Sunday may have provided some clues that Easter is near.
For Christians, Easter is the pinnacle of our faith. Without it, we would be following a man who did some good things, taught some worthwhile life lessons, and then was crucified like the worst of criminals. Instead, the resurrection of Jesus provides the true meaning, not only of our faith, but for the entirety of our lives. The death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth transformed the world, and the proof of that transformation is found in the longevity of Christianity for over two thousand years.
The resurrection of Jesus carries with it two really important notions. First, Jesus did not raise himself from the dead. His Father, the God of all Creation, raised him. This is important to Christians because it completes the sacrifice that the Father and Son made together; namely, that God loved us so much that God would give the world God’s son to live and die for us; that Jesus would say “yes” to what was being asked of him; and that the Father would demonstrate the triumph of good over evil by raising his Son from the dead.
The second important notion about the resurrection is that the raising of Jesus is more than just a historical and faith-based event that Christians can look back on and rejoice in. Rather, Easter is an experience that we are living every single day. That is why on Easter morning we say, “Christ IS risen,” not “Christ WAS raised.” “Christ IS risen” means we can live in the confidence that his resurrection propels our lives toward something meaningful and sacred. “Christ IS risen” means that this is not just a one-time event that happened two thousand years ago. It means that we can live our lives as if WE are the ones who found the empty tomb. We can live that miracle every day, and incorporate it into our daily lives. We can live in hope of experiencing something spectacular when we leave this world. In the ordinariness of our daily lives, we can experience Jesus’ resurrection, and have hope for our own transformation.
It is very appropriate that we celebrate the resurrection of Christ in the spring when the things of this world “come back to life.” This notion accounts for the Easter eggs, the colorful flowers, the baskets of goodies, and the new outfits—all of which we have come to know and enjoy. Spring means new beginnings, and so even for our non-Christian brothers and sisters who do not celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, this time of year brings a sense hope and renewal. With that in mind, perhaps we can all share in the understanding that there is something far greater than ourselves that calls us to transform our lives, and daily be reborn more grace-filled than the day before.
- Monday, 09 April 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Religion