God, Author of the greatest surprise ever in the resurrection of Jesus, has surprised, delighted, humbled, and reassured me in this Holy Week. It’s been a week of wonders, big and small. Here are three…
I spent some time this week with a person who is celebrating her first Easter as a follower of Christ. Do you remember what that was like, when you realized for the first time that it’s really true, that Jesus really died for you, and really came out of that tomb on Easter? I needed to be reminded this week. All through Lent, I’ve turned over a blog post in my mind called, “Cynicism and Contempt: Lenten Twins.” A nice, cheery post, don’t you think? Throughout Lent I’ve seen my tendency toward those two pits. I’ve also grieved and been angry, perhaps like the disciples were on Friday night and Saturday of that first Easter weekend. Seeing the joy and wonder on this new believer’s face was like watching Mary’s face when she realized Jesus was alive. The new believer even said something like, “I don’t ever want to take this for granted, to not be excited about it like I am now.” Yes, Lord, me neither. Thank You for the wonder of a first Easter.
This next one will seem kind of weird, but you’ll just have to trust me that it’s true. For several days over the past week, I believed that someone I love had died. My heart was crushed. I wept, I yelled at God in frustration and despair, and I walked around with an aching heart. Then, on Tuesday, I found out that the one I love is ALIVE! I fell to my knees and wept again, tears of gratitude and remorse and joy. It took a few minutes for my stunned heart and mind to realize, “Hey, this is EASTER!” What seemed like despair transformed in a moment to exquisite, even exuberant joy. It was all I could do not to run out to the lawn by my office and shout, “YES! (My loved one) is ALIVE!” Easter, indeed.
Finally, this morning I was looking online to find a sunrise service to attend. I was startled to see one being offered by a funeral home. Then I found another offered in a cemetery. Once again, it took a few moments, but then I thought, “Well, of course!” I’m still turning that over in my heart. The first Easter was in a graveyard/garden, so why not celebrate it there in 2012? Death giving way to life, the power and love of a great and good God, sunrise dispelling darkness – the wonder of it all is just stunning. Oh, yes…it’s Easter…it’s all really true. Hallelujah – He is risen, indeed! Amen.