Week 1: What is Easter?

I poured a mug of coffee, read the familiar scriptures, and stared blankly at my journal.  The climax of the story I’ve staked my life upon taunted me like Rorschach ink blots, mysterious and silent.  So what?  I tied my brightest bowtie and drove toward the bells, brass, Alleluias and pastels.

What is Easter?

The answer that eluded me at my writing desk became more clear at the traffic light.

I saw Easter in the man walking from JPS, half-tied gown, hospital bracelet and drawstring bag.  Walking slowly, but walking forward.

I saw Easter in the woman with her bed roll, resting in the bus shelter but on her way somewhere.

Later that day I saw Easter in Sunday Schooled elders refusing to believe they’d arrived spiritually and wondering what new life might be found if they could let go of the stubborn bits of ego still lingering after all these years.

I saw Easter watching determined worshippers strut past parking lot protesters.  The meant to be derisive accusations about our “Gay Jesus” only causing greeters to hug friends tighter and welcome more cheerfully and a teenage boy with wisdom and compassion beyond his years to ask, “Why do they have to tell lies?”

Easter is not just a day or a season but a habit.   A continual, defiant, choice to not let suffering, fear, or hate have the last word.   A commitment to Wendell Berry’s command “Be joyful though you have considered all the facts.”






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