Why Easter Matters
Two thousand years ago there were a lot of people who had difficulty with the resurrection of Jesus. It wasn’t just the philosophers in Athens who laughed at the very idea, even some of the disciples who had been with Jesus in Jerusalem during the last week of his life and who may well have seen him nailed to a tree had major problems with it. Execution and death are hard to argue with. So why is it that one billion Christians around the world still gather to mark this event?
Maybe they are all deluded idealists, wishful thinkers who can’t face reality or… maybe not.
Maybe in fact they are people who, one way or another, are in touch with a living and vibrant tradition of faith in the risen Christ that simply won’t go away.
Maybe they are people who in their own lives have been nailed to the cross or been forced to stand by it and who have come through that experience, not broken and embittered, but aware in a very profound and life giving way that God’s love never ends.
Jesus did not simply come on earth to die.
He came on earth to show us how to live and he was murdered for that.
He was murdered for showing that there is always a place for the prodigal at home,
for forgiving people who did not deserve to be forgiven,
for exposing religious bigotry and intolerance,
for rejecting the use of force and the abuse of power.
He was put to death for making a simple connection between our faith and the way we live,
for asking us to believe that God’s love is always given and never earned.
In all of these ways and especially in his death and resurrection he was witnessing to the triumph of love over hatred and of hope over despair.
Easter matters because it is God’s yes to the world. In the risen Jesus God affirms all that is good in us and asks us to follow in the steps of his son by working together to build up the Kingdom that Jesus proclaimed, trusting that the Spirit of Jesus is within us empowering us in ways that go beyond what we can imagine.
An Easter Prayer
Living God, present to us and in us,
At Easter you spoke your “Yes” to the world and in so doing
you gifted us with faith, hope and love.
Through our celebration of Holy Week we ask you to
Deepen our faith, so that we may trust that you are with us in all we do
Strengthen our hope, so that we may continue to walk with you
Enliven our love, so that others may come to know
that we are indeed an Easter people and that alleluia is our song.
We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen