Dear Beloved Church,
1 Corinthians 15:14
A few weeks ago I was chatting with a pastor friend about the upcoming Holy Week. She mentioned that the Good Friday and Easter Sunday sermons were some of the hardest for her to write. I must have had a quizzical look on my face, I mean these occasions are filled with Good News. She went on to explain that we preach death and resurrection every week, how are these days different.
This is true! Easter is a whole festival season that lasts for 50 days! Every Sunday is considered a mini-Easter, when we celebrate this event. Our God is a God of death and resurrection. God is in the business of bring life out of death, over and over and over again!
Maybe the reason it is hard to write a sermon about death and resurrection during Holy Week is that the texts preach themselves, they need very little interpretation. He was dead and now he is alive! Alleluia! We can see the signs of new life in creation during this time of year. The sun shines more often and it seems like everything around us is growing.
It is harder the rest of the year, when the days are longer and life gets hard. It is hard when friends, or family or we ourselves are sick, when we face our own mortality. It is hard when we watch the news, when we are lonely and scared, when we are in the midst of broken relationships. It is hard simply when things are changing and we realize they will never be like they used to, that we can’t go back. At these times, it feels like death will have the last word.
Yet, God is there, in those times. God is still in the business of bringing resurrection, during the rest of the year! God brings love, beauty, possibility: indeed, new life in the midst of the hardest days. We know for certain that God has also promised that when finally we die, we will be raised to new life, just as Christ was!
So, let us celebrate his resurrection with joy this month! But also, let us treasure that glimpse of resurrection in our heart, let us remember what it looks like. Then we can go out into the world, into our everyday life, where death seems all too prevalent, and see the resurrection God is bring all around us!