"Why do you look for the living among the dead?" --Luke 24:5
foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger
than human strength." --1 Corinthians 1:25
"I love the
recklessness of faith. First you leap, and then you grow wings."
--William Sloane Coffin
My experience of Holy Week (just a
couple of weeks ago!) this year was similar to past years. It was a
very busy week--I preached four times in eight days--and as Easter
Sunday approached, I felt so tired and run-down, I wondered if Easter
morning really would feel for me like a celebration of new life made
possible through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And as in past years,
despite my own fatigue and what feels like spiritual poverty, Easter
Sunday morning energized me and filled me with joy and hope and
gratitude and LIFE. God is good!
The week following Easter, I came across a thread of comments posted
in response to a newspaper story about recent scholarship on the
resurrection. About 2/3 of the comments were dismissive and even
downright disparaging of Christians who would find deep meaning in
celebrating the resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday. The comments
ranged from mild--"Easter is really a pagan celebration co-opted by
Christians"--to caustic--"Christians who believe in the resurrection are
out of touch with reality and delusional."
My first reaction was, honestly, to become defensive. But upon
further reflection, I realized that those who would question the
validity of the Easter message of life rising out of death--well, they
have a point. Listen to the news and read the paper and the stories have
little to do with life and much to do with death--war, violence, crime,
abuse, disaster. When we take a clear-eyed look around the world, we
have to admit that it is much easier to identify those places where
death appears to carry the day.
But this is where I can't help but choose to believe something that
appears to be foolish to those who cannot bring themselves to believe
it. I suppose I am an Easter Fool. For I choose to believe that death
does not and will not have the final word. I choose to believe that
those places where I've seen new life arise out of the ashes of death
are not the exception, but glimpses of the Good News that "He is risen
indeed!" And not only do I choose to believe it, but I choose to do my
best to LIVE it, too, by not giving up on lost causes, by seeking to
find the light of God within people whose actions are detestable, by
praying fervently for peace and justice to come to even the most
hopeless of situations.
This is what "Easter Fools" do. They affirm, with their lips and
lives, that no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary, Jesus
Christ is ALIVE and because he is alive, we are, too.
you? Are you an Easter Fool? It isn't always easy to be the fool, but in
my experience, this kind of foolishness is a wellspring of hope and
love and LIFE!
And that is an awesome gift to celebrate during this season of
Prayer: God of New Life
in Christ, thank you, thank you, thank you for the Good News that Jesus
is risen! Grant us the courage to be Easter Fools, embracing and
nurturing LIFE wherever and whenever we have the opportunity, all in
your name. Amen.