Are you longing for Easter? Are you ready for Lent to be over? Do you find your spirit stretching for the signs of hope, (the sunshine between the gray days, the daffodils growing like molasses) and new life?
The news is full of heartbreak and betrayal: worshippers gunned down in New Zealand, more news each day about children abused by priests, families being separated, more diagnoses of cancer with friends and family, more anxiety and anger bubbling up and out, more racism and xenophobia being spread and shouted. It can seem like we are at a pinnacle of hate overcoming love and like God’s kingdom will never come. But sitting in the scriptures and walking toward Easter we can see Jesus knew a world like ours today. He knew betrayal; he knew power being corrupted and abused. He knew what it was to live in a system and time when the marginalized and weak were taken advantage of and oppressed. We don’t have to read far in any of the gospels approaching the Passion and last weeks of Jesus’ life to hear familiar tunes, insults, and struggles.
Maybe we should keep our Bibles in sight of our TV’s and next to our newspapers. The difference for us today is we know the other side of Easter. We know Easter is coming. We may live in a Good Friday world but we are Easter people. We have to keep seeking our God and keep holding onto the hope we have in Christ. It is not all for us to fix or carry but we are not invited to put our heads in the sand either. We are to keep coming back to God, partnering with God.
Ann Weems’ poem, “Come Unto Me” is a perfect call for us as we live in a Good Friday world as Easter people.
When the journey gets too hard, when we feel depleted, when our compassion turns to complaining, when our efforts toward justice and mercy seem to get us nowhere, it’s time to remember the humility part – that it is God who has made us and not we ourselves; that the saving of the world or even one part of it is not on our shoulders. It is then we can come unto him, and he will give us rest. With rest, we’ll remember what it is we are about.
As we move toward Easter, friends, go back to the stories, reread the Word, and walk with Matthew 26:6-28:20. Travel with Jesus, claiming the promise that our God travels with us and that the power and new life of Easter are ours to live out into our hurting world. May your April be full of the longing and hope of Easter.