Say Yes in a world of No: The Power of Easter

What does Easter mean for you? What Easter traditions do you celebrate? My adult mind still conjures up wonderful childhood memories of colorful woven baskets filled with chocolate bunnies, jellybeans and the hardboiled eggs that my family and I colored together. Easter meant going to church tucked into a stiff new suit and then gathering around the dinner table with family afterwards. But as we get older, while we still love many of our Easter traditions, I think we yearn for something more.

For Christians, Easter is the story of a God who loves us so much that not even the grave can keep us apart. When the tomb seemed like the end of the story for Jesus, God wrote another chapter for him, for the world and for us.

In an anxious and fearful world that too often shouts, No! to the abundant life, Easter is God’s great big Yes to hope, freedom and eternal life. Where the world builds up fences, God tears them down. Where the world draws borders, God sees us as one. When the world knocks us down, God lifts us up. When the world says that death is the end,

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Getting a hold on Easter

THE MEANING OF EASTER SLIPS EASILY FROM OUR GRASP. At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of a child. No problem there! Who can’t get behind a birthday celebration? But at Easter we have to accept that almost two thousand years ago a dead man was raised from the dead. That takes a lot of theological acrobatics to comprehend. As a young person, I spent many summers and other holidays at my grandparent’s funeral home. As a pastor, I’ve been burying the dead for two and a half decades; I’ve never seen anyone sit up in their casket and say, ‘Hi everybody! I’m back!’

But Easter isn’t supposed to be grasped, at least not the way we get hold of a math problem or solve a puzzle. Easter is the way God wants us to live, trusting that there is something much bigger and much better beyond the end of our temporal noses.

After all, when you live as if Easter is real, even if you are just faking it – working for justice, making peace instead of war, sharing out your abundance, believing that there is a future brighter than the darkness of the present, even if the present includes death, 

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