Reclaiming Easter

The Nazareth Page - A gospel meditation for the home Family running to sunrise

April 1, 2018 – Easter Sunday – Resurrection of the Lord

John 20:1-9 The celebration of Easter has some of the same problems as does Christmas. It’s been taken over by non-Christian concerns. Easter outfits, Easter baskets, Easter lilies, and a great event on the White House lawn, Easter egg rolling. In the Northern Hemisphere, Easter usually occurs with the arrival of springtime. Life survives the winter. Some Christian substance there, but not as deep as the Christian belief in the Resurrection!

So, what might we reflect on this Easter? First, of course, the event of Jesus rising from the dead. He did not wake up from sleep. He did not simply continue the life he once led. He was not resuscitated. According to St. Paul, Jesus attained a new condition and began a New Creation. The risen Christ left the condition of a death bound humanity to one of new life, a life that was available to all, a life of deep love, and a life that would never end. 

This is the same Jesus who suffered and was crucified. He now exists among us. God is now in charge through the continued life of Christ in his followers. His risen life vivifies all through the power of God’s Holy Spirit. And he can touch all of human life, yours and mine, in all the countless details of our lives.

Why do I bring up the idea of details? For the same reason that in John’s Gospel today there is mention of a facial burial cloth, “wrapped in its own place,” that Mary Magdalene and Peter and the Beloved Disciple (likely John) noticed in the empty tomb. Why mention such a seemingly small detail? Because it is part of the Great Story. And all the parts of that story are important – just like all the details of our lives are significant – whether we believe so or not.

You might have heard the phrases, “God is in the details” and “the devil is in the details.” While I prefer the first phrase, both are used to point out that often important parts of a reality are somewhat hidden to us. We are invited to carefully examine the details of anything because we might discover something quite important. In fact, that’s where we might find a deeper meaning for this Easter.

Respectfully, therefore, observe the people in your life. Attend to their needs (and your own) with as much attention to details as possible. Remember, it’s all part of the Great Mystery into which we are invited to live each day -- arriving with each new sunrise -- after that first Easter morning. It’s good to notice the flowers, the eggs, the warmth of the day. But attend to everything. Don’t miss a single detail. God is there.
©David M. Thomas, PhD