I have been reflecting in these post-Easter days on what exactly we celebrate? Or, at least, what are we supposed to be celebrating? I mean apart from the Easter eggs…oops sorry I know there’s a move to stop calling them ‘Easter’ eggs, lest we offend those who do not believe in Easter…( sounds a bit mad Dougal, what do you think?).. Apart from the eggs, and the odd Easter bunny, or if you want to drop the E word, the odd bunny, this season certainly continues to escape the crazy commercialism that has enveloped Christmas. Yet we are told this is the high point of the liturgical year, the great Christian feast. Still we seem not to be sure what exactly has happened? We say things like was he really dead? Did he rise bodily? Was he like a ghost? Was it symbolic? With this type of thinking it’s not surprising we are confused, and that so much of the resurrection story proves difficult for us to connect with. In some strange way, does it seem at times that we are more at home with Good Friday than Easter Sunday?
You are not tall enough. You haven’t a note in your head. You will never make a dancer. You talk too much. You think you are clever. The pain has gone now, but it will come back. We won’t have enough to make ends meet. He does’nt really love you. You are far too quiet. The cancer is advanced, there is no hope. There is something terrible up ahead. I saw one magpie this morning, one for sorrow. Yes there is a bit of sun there, but apparently it’s going to come down in sheets in the afternoon. The glass is half empty. The pain in my back has eased, but I know it will be return with a vengeance. Apparently it’s too late, there is no hope.
Some people do not move very far from the Cross. They crucified him at a place called the Skull. What a stench! It has the gagging smell of death. What awful screams. Blood curdling. After these come deep painful moans. Death groans. Some people hover in the shadow of the Cross. There are many prophets of gloom. Long faces. Furrowed brows. Sometimes the worst offenders, in this regard, are religious people. Sometimes, so called holy people, have big sad heads. This does not add up. Actually, this makes no sense at all. Followers of Jesus, can of course be sad, can grieve, can worry, can be frightened, however they do not live in gloom. Let me say it clearly: a Christian without hope, is a walking contradiction. Yes, Good Friday is crucial. To meditate on Good Friday, and the suffering of Jesus, is an important part of being Christian. However to stay in Good Friday is a deep spiritual poverty. To remain in his passion and not to celebrate the joy of his resurrection is to miss the great victory. The Good News. The Resurrection was full and complete. The Risen Jesus cooked breakfast for them, and ate with them.
No, my friends, we are called to more. We are called to the light. We are called to dance. We are ALLELUIA people. We should not covertly whisper, He is Risen, but shout it, sing it, more importantly, live it. Not for us to open the popcorn, or crack open a beer, and spectate, but rather for us to immerse ourselves in the sacred story. We are not poor hopeless peasants. We are meant to be celebration people. A royal priesthood, a holy people, a people set apart.
Isn’t your hair lovely? You did very well. You are brilliant. You have great gifts. You have a great smile. With the help of God she will be alright. Many people recover. The forecast is often wrong. Where there is one magpie, there are always others. The glass is half full. The pain relief has helped. I am going to make the first move. I am going to make the call. I am going to drop a card. I am going to smile. To say sorry. To say thanks. To say I love you. Yes, I want to move closer to the joy of Easter Sunday morning. Why look among the dead for someone who is alive?
HE IS NOT HERE, HE HAS RISEN!! ALLELUIA!!