Today marks the third Sunday of Easter. I find it hard to believe that three weeks ago bright colors filled pews of Christian churches across the country. Yet, today, there were still bright spring colors, but fewer bodies. This isn’t a blog about how we need to get more year-round Christians and less Easter and Christmas Christians, why repeat what so many in vain have tried to say. This isn’t a blog about the need for a moral revolution in America. Many saying that only want a 1950′s-style moral re-institution. The season of Easter has not stopped, and one day does mark the entire season. This blog is about our dashing away from the resurrection just as quickly as we dash to the empty tomb.
Between the bodies at church today sat worlds of possibility. I sat pondering the inadequacies the human spirit grants. When I finished with that thought I moved quickly to the great triumphal spirit about us. When we fail at something we reference the Fall, and when we succeed we reference God’s goodness. When moral turpitude prevails we offer condemning words, but when we discover a ‘moral success,’ we praise it to high heaven. We call out the need to love, but rarely translate word into action. We will cast out a hateful word, but in it’s place give nothing of substance: hate will return.
Forgetting we live in an Easter season deprives us of the spiritual depth and possibility. For one day many of us share in Mary’s joy and Thomas’ Doubt. For the days and weeks following we forget the stone was rolled away. Easter calls for renewal and change, the type of change that happened from the tomb to the Resurrection. We call this type of change, transformation. Transformation beckons people to be reborn, remade, and resurrected. We all can identify with Nicodemus, who wanted to go back and start all over. How many of us so desperately want to go back into the womb, and begin anew?
We can’t. There’s no going back. You have been thrust into this existence with wars and rumors of wars. Yet, are we thrust also into meaninglessness? Are we too thrust into impossibility?
Hate, injustice, indifference, and greed are all words we use to build a wall between those that are ‘right’ and ‘wrong.’ These words are not opposite any other attitude, only attitudes without a resurrection.
Hate: love placed in the tomb.
Injustice: equality with a stone blocking the exit.
Indifference: hope considered nothing but a rotting corpse.
Greed: charity bruised, bloody, and breathless.
Easter grants possibility. Easter grants resurrection. Where there is Christ, a resurrection is always around the corner. What do we need to resurrect? What needs life? Does a hateful army need resurrection? Do they need love resurrected? When we have condemned people to the tomb they live in, we have rolled a stone over redeeming possibility we call “God’s Grace.” Do we leave people, Godforsaken, in the tomb? Or, do we seek the resurrection Mary tells all about?
As I left church this morning I couldn’t help but wonder, “Are the empty spaces waiting for a resurrection? Are they too calling out for new possibility?” Yes. They are looking for people who need to hear a redemptive word, for those who have become complacent in the injustice. Empty spaces beckon for the stone to be rolled away, and for us to proclaim: “We have risen!”