Thursday, April 24, 2014
Originally written as a pastoral note to the Btown Eucharist Community.
Alleluia! Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen! Alleluia! We are only three liturgies into the Easter season and yet these words have already been spoken at least 40 times total in our worship services. It's quite apparent that we are excited to declare the Resurrection of Christ. However, the reality is that many people are completely perplexed as to why we do this. They scratch their hands in awe wondering why we keep making the same statement over and over. Seriously, can't we just say, "Happy Easter," and be done with it till next year?!
No, we just can't keep it that brief or simple. The liturgy asks us to continue to declare the Easter proclamation, at least once in each service, for a total of 50 days! However, we don't truly do it just because the liturgy asks us. At least that shouldn't be reason enough! Rather, we continue to shout it to the rafters because our hearts are over-filled with joy and thankfulness at the very idea of new birth, the destruction of darkness and the hope of resurrection for all creation. We continue to shout joyfully of resurrection, regardless of our views and interpretations of Scripture, because we naturally are drawn to the belief that life-giving mercy and grace are always present. We believe 'the end' is never quite the END and there is always the possibility of another chapter, another opportunity, another glimpse of God revealed to us in this life or the next. We take a 'leap of faith' each time we declare, "Christ is Risen," knowing in some radical way it affects our understanding and outlook on life, faith and the world in general.
Some of us know exactly what "resurrection" means to us. Some of us are confident in our interpretations and theological views. But many of us simply shout out the proclamation, innocently as children, knowing that something happened 2,000 years ago that has affected the world ever since and we rejoice to be a part of it. It isn't that we check our brains at the door or deny the realities of science, but we also find a glimmer of faith that is most visible in the Easter season...and that glimmer makes all things possible with God.
So allow yourself to rejoice this Easter season for 50 days! Declare the power of a resurrecting God in your life and in the world around you. Be confident in this: Christ lives forever more in each and every gentle action and word of love you give away to your partner, your children, your neighbor and, even, your enemy. The Risen Christ is in you...do you allow others to see the Risen Christ, do you allow yourself to see the Risen Christ when you glance in a mirror?
With these truths, we declare together: Christ is Risen! Indeed!
See you at God's table for Easter 2, Sunday at 7:30PM! The table where everyone is welcomed to feast, period.