It’s been a wet, windy, and a mostly grey Easter weekend on Vancouver Island with storms creating some measure of havoc, disrupting travel plans, uprooting trees, and causing power outages. We visited the famous Coombs Market on Saturday – famous for grass growing on the roof and goats grazing with an upper class dignity ‘up there’. On Saturday there was not a goat in sight as puddles pancaked the roads and sidewalks and the damp chill in the air discouraged any lolligagging … The entrance to the market is guarded with heavy strips of clear plastic which one pushes aside in order to pass through. On Saturday brushing aside the plastic was like leaving a dark cold world and entering a realm of warmth, fragrances, laughter, piles of produce, and cosy camaraderie.
That’s what Easter is all about. Two kingdoms clashing, good and evil, light and dark, hope and despair. On the Good Friday side of the Cross is anger and violence, cold and brutal power stopping at nothing, survival of the fittest mentality, dreams shattered, hopes dashed, the Son of God a cruel joke incapable of surviving the politics of religion and the expediency of Rome. It’s a bleak place which I attempted to describe in a previous blog; fortunately it’s not the end. Saturday is quiet, somewhat depressed; a day for reflection, tears, what if and what might have been conversations in coffee shops, or solitary walks. The future is confusing and faith is bewildered, desperately gasping trying to rise from shaky knees and beat the count to ten – it’s not clear what the outcome will be, will cynicism prevail and faith be knocked stone cold?
Then Sunday dawns and it’s like pushing through the plastic curtain at the Coombs Market – but much better. Warmth and light explode, hope and joy pulsate unexpectedly through the atmosphere, and faith rises like an eagle riding unseen thermals. Everything I dreaded and pondered, imagined or thought I understood, is turned upside down by this extraordinary news of resurrection. It’s unbelievable! The might of Rome, the cowardly posturing and manipulating of religion, the perceived wimpish inefficacy of God has been blown sky high by the discovery of an empty tomb and the random appearances of the dead man living, walking through walls, eating meals, embracing men and women, conversing with authority and a calm assurance.
That resurrection changed everything! Jesus Christ is no longer a wandering Galilean with peace on the brain and love on his lips…. His claims to be the only Son of God, the Savior of the world, the Messiah, the way to the living God begin to ring true. In fact after the first Easter morning the revelation of God’s love revealed in the crucified and risen Christ swept the globe and reconfigured human history without Facebook, Twitter, or Youtube. The Cross and Resurrection are indeed two sides of a doorway leading to heaven – or an experience of God’s Kingdom touching the earth. For all who pass through the invitation is to live life from a new paradigm where the power of Easter is present every day, where God’s love triumphs and His strength is made perfect in weakness.
If it doesn’t quite make sense that’s perfectly normal – the first disciples had a hard time coming to terms with Jesus rising as well. They argued and questioned, they ran to see for themselves and eventually they experienced His ‘life’ to such a degree of authenticity they were transformed forever.
Easter’s not over when the clock strikes midnight….. Jesus is alive… as the song goes… ‘Just whisper His name and He’ll come running’ – and embrace you as well. He did for me and I’m still trying to comprehend it all – pushing through those curtains was the best thing I’ve ever done in my life – I hope and pray you won’t settle for an Easter that comes but once a year and stay outside in the cold and the rain when there’s shelter and company available all the time, every day. Happy Easter tomorrow, and the next day, and the next 🙂