So much of what we read and preach about Easter has become too practiced or rote. It is not that we don’t believe what we say, or even that we don’t have emotional attachment to what we are saying, but rather that it has become a distant truth. We have connected it to a one time event in the chronicle of Christ, and we are “preaching to the choir,” those who already agree with us.
The Resurrection is such a tremendous gift, and continuous outpouring of the love of God into our lives, that each expression we offer related to it should show forth a new insight, or relate how its power has worked in our lives, seen through the ever changing “new eyes” of our experience. Likewise, for the convinced Christian, every Sunday should be a celebration of Easter, and every day a “Resurrection Day.” Any moment of any day God is willing to share His love with us, that same power that raised the dead. Each day is an opportunity to throw off death, and the ways that lead to death, and live into new life. The Resurrection points not just to a distant promise, but a very present reality as well. That present reality is that God loves us, and desires for us all the giftedness that comes from a relationship with Him, including the power of the Resurrection.
God offers us hope in despair, transformation in our sinfulness, healing from our brokenness. God can take that which is dead in us and grant Resurrection. God can, and will, bring the miraculous to bear on our lives. When Lazarus died and Jesus resurrected him, (John 11), that was temporary. Lazarus would die again. But the Resurrection that comes to us now is eternal. Jesus went into the very bowels of death and hell, and opened the gates, so that souls no longer could be imprisoned there. Death has no victory. Christ has won for us eternal life. Not just because He loved humanity and creation, but because he loved us all, each and every one by name. He suffered the horrors of His death, because he loved so deeply, and he knew the result would be reconciliation with God, a joining of the divine and the human, completing and raising the human cycle from life to death, and redeeming it to life from death.
All creation around us, the trees, and bushes, the flowers, the grass, everything that seemed dead only days ago, are springing to new life, even the birds and animals seem to share in this Canticle to Resurrection.
As we celebrate Easter and all of its meaning this year, let us look to ourselves and search out its presence at work in us, and how we have experienced that miraculous power of God within ourselves. Let us share with others how our own lives have been transformed from death to life. Let us reconnect with the power of this ongoing eternal event by making this examination a daily thanksgiving for the glory of God being revealed in us, rather than merely a yearly historic happening retold.
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
The Rev. Walter Van Zandt Windsor is rector at Trinity Episcopal Church.
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