NORMAN — Happy Easter. Perhaps you are thinking the editors of this newspaper made an error and printed a devotional intended for last week. After all, Easter was last Sunday.
The echoes of the hymns have faded. The stories of Jesus’ resurrection have been recounted, and we have been inspired to celebrate and embrace the promise of eternal life that this story offers. But for those in the Christian faith, Easter is not a day; it is a season. Once we have celebrated the events of Easter, we are invited to spend the several weeks of Eastertide reflecting and giving expression to the meaning of Easter. So here are some of one person’s wonderings on the Easter Journey.
Before resurrection says something about our lives, it says something about God. Resurrection reveals to us the identity of the God with whom we are in relationship. We use a variety of words to describe God: all-powerful, all-knowing, all-presence, all-loving. But from the Easter perspective, before God is any of those things, God is the one who “raised Jesus from the dead” (Romans 8:11), “who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist” (Romans 4:17). Easter is a glimpse into the heart of God, a glimpse of the end toward which God is moving all things, “this surprising, creative outrageous God who makes new life from the dead” (William Willimon). Anything we believe about God’s power, knowing, presence, and love are shaped not by our definition of those words but by how God has acted in resurrection.
And to embrace and live in relationship with this God of resurrection, well, it changes everything, something you would expect from new life beyond death. It opens up for us a way of looking at the world that goes beyond our optimism which is often nothing more than the projection into the future of the good life we have made for ourselves today. Willimon again: “Yet it is the nature of the risen Christ to transform our expectations… The post-resurrection world is full of coincidences, surprises, and unexpected encounters.