By Chuck Griffin
Once again, I so need Easter. I remember saying something along those lines last year and rejoicing in Easter’s arrival, and I’m doubling down this year.
It’s easy to let the world distract us from our core beliefs. Fear often is the driver behind the distractions. Fear for our health, fear for our financial futures, fear that our lives, or even our churches, won’t be exactly the way we’ve spent years imagining them. So we spend our time working, saving and planning, hoping to manipulate circumstances as best we can. What little time we have to spare we devote to “recreation,” except we seldom spend that time actually re-creating our frantic selves.
The resurrection is the cure. The resurrected Jesus was able to say “fear not” repeatedly for a reason.
Blessedly, April arrives tomorrow, and Easter Sunday is April 17, starting a season of celebration built around the resurrection. Here’s a basic challenge for us all: Let’s once again recognize the resurrection as a very real and powerful event, one that changes everything else.
Try this each morning until we reach April 17. When you first arise, say out loud, “Easter is coming, and I have hope.”
Not all in church have fully absorbed the reality of the resurrection. In a prior appointment, I once had a woman enter my office to tell me she and her husband were resigning their memberships. Naturally, I asked why.
“It’s because of the way you preach about the resurrection,” she said. I pressed further, and she went on to say that they saw the resurrection as a sort of fable (my word, not hers), one designed to help people understand they have hope. “You talk about it as if it really happened!”
All I could say was, “Well, yeah! Christ’s resurrection is the foundation for what we believe. If Jesus Christ didn’t defeat death and come out of the tomb remade, our faith is meaningless.” Paul said as much in 1 Corinthians 15:14.
They didn’t stay in that local church, but a sound definition of the resurrection remained, and people who joined after the couple’s departure said they appreciated clear words about this key event impacting our lives.
This year, let’s recommit ourselves to a solid understanding of the transformative power of a very real resurrection. Now, I’m not saying we should rush early into Easter. First, we need to experience the remainder of Lent, Holy Week, and especially Good Friday, so we appreciate the sacrifice that makes Christ’s resurrection, and our own, possible.
Let’s be sure, however, that we all play a part in making Easter 2022 very real and very glorious, celebrating like a people full of hope and eternal life.
Lord, lead us through the dark and somber days remaining in Lent, and show us the great light of Easter.