It was only a few years ago that I brushed the snow off of my car, with my palm frond from the Palm Sunday worship, I remember thinking to myself, “what am I doing in such a place as this?” Seriously, I still find it amusing that it could still be cold during Holy Week. Of course, this year, Easter is late, and hopefully we will be sunny and at least a LITTLE warm on Sunday. Though many of us grew up with a more “Spring-like” Easter experience, and never thought of the possibility of a more challenging Easter Egg Hunt (don’t color them, keep them white and place them in the snow…watch the kids try to find them THEN!), or remember when “a new Easter outfit” didn’t mean a down-filled coat…the Easter experience is STILL not really about the weather.
The Church needs to be reminded that THIS day, of all days, is the most sacred, most special, most holy of all Church holidays. Without Easter there IS no Church; we are just another club filled with good people. If Jesus is NOT the Son of God and NOT the One who died and then came back to life, there is NO REASON to worship, to educate, to serve. Doing good and treating people well might be “the right thing to do”, but that is not a good enough reason for most of us to do it. “Loving” is a challenging and difficult work, especially when we are SPECIFICALLY commanded to love those who do not and WILL not love us in return. If there were no “supernatural”, or perhaps a better word would be “trans-natural” element to Church, then we would be merely a community. If the only possibilities for the restoration of this nation and world were in the hands of good people (who could still do much) circumstances might change briefly. But changed circumstances don’t change lives…changed LIVES change circumstances.
We know, in faith alone through the Spirit, that we ARE immortal souls housed in a body, not visa versa. We also know that body will slough off and someday let our souls fly free. We know in faith, that God has the power, knowledge, and presence to affect, change, and create life everywhere. We know in faith, that if we SAY Jesus is God’s Son, resurrected from an unfair execution at the hands of the Church AND the State (please stop blaming the Jews and the Romans, it was you and me), then we had better live according to what we SAY is true, or get out of the way of those successfully living according to that belief.
The message of Easter is: as Jesus died so will we…but when HE died, He killed the effect of decomposition caused by mistakes, bad choices and separation from God. When He climbed off that stone bed and unwrapped his now-breathing body He stepped back into the garden…and so will we. If we don’t believe that, then there is no reason to come back to church on April 28th.
Come rain, snow, wind or sun, Easter doesn’t represent a “Good man”, “prophet”, “philosopher/teacher”. Easter is a LIVING God who died so that I wouldn’t have to…and then got up and kept living…so that I could live, and live, and live…starting today.