Yesterday, billions of Christians celebrated the resurrection of Jesus. From masses at the Vatican to dirt churches in Uganda to mega churches in Atlanta to steeple-topped buildings in Kansas, we shouted “He is risen!” and we heard the echo, “he has risen, indeed.”
Now it’s the day after, and we must go back to life. Will anything change?
The rag-tag bunch of followers sat huddled, afraid after the public death of Jesus. Many scattered, their hopes and dreams of a conquering savior dashed. The inner circle comforted Mary and the rest of the family. Their future was murky. Uncertainty hung like a dark cloud.
A couple of the women went to the tomb to grieve, to squeeze a few more tears. They met a gardener – or was it Jesus? And then an angel gave them the The Good News. Their story was passed off as misplaced optimism by a few. But then, one by one, Jesus started showing up. In the end, hundreds had talked to him, touched him.
Things would never be the same.
That resurrection story was enough to galvanize the first church. Emboldened by a man who cheated death, the gospel message spread throughout the world. The teachings of love, forgiveness, and repentance shook a world ruled by heavy-handed leaders and inequity.
That story is still changing lives.
At my church hundreds of hands went up for the first time, people moved by the resurrection and ready to commit their lives.
The message. “It’s just getting started.”
So here we are ready to face the news again. In many ways, the world seems crazy. There will be politicians posturing, the aggrieved masses shouting their displeasure, and the common person looking for safety.
Not much has changed in 2,000 years. A reading of history will confirm that our leaders will be corrupt and crass and unfair. Humans will be unjust and cruel and evil. Life will not be fair.
Jesus never promised to undo that. But what he did promise was a chance for us to renew our lives, to start over.
And sometimes, those of us who have started over, need to start over again. We torpedoed our lives, ruined our relationships, and made a mess of things. The beautiful vase of life that adorned our table fell to the ground, shattering our hopes and dreams.
But there is Good News for folks like us.
Jesus takes the broken pieces, patiently puts them back together again. He sets it back on the table and with a triumphant smile, places just-budding lilies in it. He pours water of life into the vessel, calling it “good” again.
That’s the message of the Day After. And yes, things can change.
This 89 year old man found grace. It’s never too late