For some of us it is just a legend that might or might not be true. It is old and dusty and, either way, has little to do with what we will have to do at work to get ahead. We are a bit like Wilbur Rees who wrote:
I would like to buy $3 worth of God. Not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep. Just enough to make me feel like a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine. I don’t want enough of God to cause me to love someone who is difficult or pick beets with a migrant worker. No, I want ecstasy not transformation. I want the warmth of the womb not new birth. I want a pound of the eternal in a paper bag. Just $3 worth of God please.
For many of us Easter is a pleasant holiday, but we don’t want to be bothered by it.
For others, Easter brings great comfort. If you have lost a loved one recently, Easter is the message that we will not be separated forever, and that the one we love is safely in the care of God.
Bass Mitchell, a preacher, had a good friend whose daughter died suddenly. His friend was devastated, of course, but she said to him after one Easter service, “Until you stare death eye-to-eye, Easter is just a word, a nice day with bunny rabbits and eggs, but when someone precious to you dies, Easter becomes everything: an anchor in a fierce storm, a rock on which to stand, a hope that raises you above despair and keeps you going.”
Many of us are now reaching the age when our parents and grandparents are dying. Some of us have known death close up. Death comes to us all in different ways, but, for us all, Easter is the symbol that, even when life does its worst to us, still we rise.
I love the motto of the French Foreign Legion, which says:
If I falter, push me on.
If I stumble, pick me up.
If I retreat, shoot me.
That seemed to be the motto of the disciples after Easter. Scattered, scared, and scarred women and men rose up to live with courage and relentless passion. For them, resurrection was not just a future promise; it was a present reality that gave them courage to embrace the future.
That’s the Easter experience I hope you are having.
by Michael Piazza
Center for Progressive Renewal