Easter: Restoring Faith in Ourselves and Each other by God’ Grace
The Easter story is both incredibly simple and unfathomably complex. Jesus died, the women went to anoint his body at the tomb and found he was not there. The women were asked, “Why do you search for the living among the dead? And then told, “He is not here, he has been raised.” They remembered Jesus’ words, but when they told other disciples, their words were dismissed. Followers of Jesus have sought to understand the mystery of the resurrection, how God brings life out of death, and its implications for daily living ever since.
Christ’s death was traumatic for his disciples. While Jesus told his disciples three times that he would be killed in Jerusalem and rise on the third day, his disciples were not prepared to watch him be humiliated and put to death. This is in line with what people tell me about death, even expected death: “I thought I was ready, but it is not what I expected.”
As humans, it is extremely difficult for us to process death. By definition, death is outside our lived experience. Grief is a response to the painful awareness of what we have lost. The world seems to be defined by what artists refer to as “negative space,” what is not in our life. Over time, grieving what has been also prepares space for what is coming, creating a transition for transformation. While Lent focuses on “letting go” in order to “make room” for God to do something new, in Easter we celebrate the “new thing” that God has done and is doing for each of us and all of us.
Jesus asked his disciples to have faith in what they could not comprehend, that there would be life out of death. When we face uncertainty, we, too, are asked to have faith, faith that God is present and active, even if unseen. We need each other for support, for reminders to look for life, life which naturally perpetuates in our relationships with each other and the environment. As a community, together we help support one another in faith so that we can lovingly receive the joy that God gracefully is sending. Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, the conquering of the finality of death, reminds us that there is room for yet more abundance, more grace, more faith, and more than enough opportunities for renewal at every stage. In short, there is hope. This is the simple and profound promise of Easter.
What prevents you from accepting and providing support?
What kind of support has surprised you this year?
In what ways has your faith been restored this year?