The ancient stories offer us an instruction manual on living. Today, it’s the Easter story and, whether you’re Christian or not, the lessons apply. The story of Jesus is the story of every one of us in our own varied circumstances. Yours will fit here, too.....
First darkness. On Friday, roughly two billion of us around the world marked the dark day when Jesus was brutally tortured. None of it made sense. None of it was deserved. It’s much like the things that happen to us that bring us to our knees. The loss of a child. The spouse who picks up and leaves. The financial ruin that devastates even after we’ve done all the right things. Plug in your own circumstances here. We all have them.
Then we wait. For many of us that’s the hardest part. We have no idea how long the pain and discomfort will continue and all we want is a way out. That’s where I struggle, like a bound captive desperately trying to get out of her restraints. But in recent times God, really good friends and a wise man named Brad Reedy have taught me that you can never really force the ties that bind. They come when time allows, when we take care other things (including ourselves) to recover from the the darkness. And we wait. And we wonder. How much longer? What’s next? How am I going to get through this? (For more on waiting, read, “Deep in the Swamp.”)
And then it happens. The rising comes, just as it did for Jesus on the third day. We somehow come out of the circumstance that held us under the water and were drowning us and we take that long, deep breath of life above that which held us down. And we rise. We rise. We rise. Slowly. No doubt the darkness has shaped us, changed us, but it has also delivered us into a new way of life.
Today, Easter Sunday, is about rising in the most profound way: from life to Life. It is a day we honor the One who came to teach us Love as God’s people and who showed us the way to what’s next. It’s the day that reminds us, whether you know Jesus the same way I do or differently, that the darkness, any kind of darkness, cannot prevail. The Light comes again. And again. The Easter story lives year round. And I am profoundly grateful for it all.
Happy Easter! He is risen! He is risen! And happy Passover to all marking that ancient Holy day that comes with its own moving story!