In our culture, Easter can be many things... the Halloween of the Spring...a time to gorge on candy...(seriously, how are Peeps still a thing?) It can be a church outreach fair or a family holiday.
But, I'd argue that it can be, and properly is THE DAY. The day that illumines all our other days. The day that gives meaning to our life. The day we encounter the Risen Christ actually bringing life to our mortified hearts, not abstractly, but personally.
How can we move beyond the domestication, commodification, and exploitation of Easter to encounter this day as THE DAY?
My sense is that reconciliation might be the key. In one of the orthodox hymns we hear:
This is the day of resurrection.
Let us be illumined by the feast.
Let us embrace each other.
Let us call “brothers” even those who hate us,
And forgive all by the resurrection. . .
As long as we avoid the very hard work of reconciliation with one another, I doubt that we are actually standing in the light of the Resurrection.
If we stand in THAT light, we can't help but see our enemy and ourselves as standing together. We are both, to borrow from Newbigin, the beloved enemy of God. That light reveals what unites us as stronger and truer than what divides us.
To live in the light of the resurrected Christ is to acknowledge that we have been driving through life gazing in the rear view mirror. This turning of our gaze is the essential task of repentance. And repentance must bear the fruit of reconciliation.
Now if this isn't bad enough, here comes the really bad news: We want this Easter to be our instant cure. We want Lent to be over and all to be right.
And in the last day it will be.
But for now the Resurrection is not our quick fix but our daily remedy. That is to say, we must join in the work, we must chase after the risen Christ with our cross in tow. To say it another way--I'll die a diabetic but I don't have to die from diabetes. There is no cure for what I've got, but there is a daily remedy.
The resurrection of Christ is our Joy, but it is not an easy joy--it is a disruptive joy. In its light we have just enough hope to make the hardest and shortest of journeys, to turn our gaze and become the peace our hearts really long for.
Christ IS Risen! Truely He is Risen!
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