Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Our Risen Hope

When Jesus’ followers walked, ate and reflected with him, they saw him not just as the presence of God among them; they also saw a person like themselves sharing their hopes and dreams.

He was one of them.  He struggled, as they did, to bring peace and security to those he loved.  He worked hard day-in, day-out.  He lived with the same pain of loss that they faced every time a friend or lover died.  He knew what it meant to wonder where the next meal was coming from.  He was exasperated by pain rooted in stupidity and  stubbornness.  He was helpless before tragedy caused by nothing more than sheer chance.  Just as they did, Jesus lived with not just life’s joy and hope but its chaos.

 When Jesus died on the cross, a resounding “no” to all the promise they had found in the man who personified  hope, throttled their hearts.  If none of the good Jesus had done made any difference, what difference would their efforts make.  There was nothing for them to do but hide, waiting for their own end. 

Then the women returned news from the tomb.

Jesus’ life and death reveals God’s total union with us.  Jesus’ resurrection reveals that everything we do for life, no matter how small and imperfect, is treasured by our Creator and built into the Future he promises and for which he labors.

The message of Easter isn’t heard most powerfully around a lily-covered altar.  It resonates most effectively in hearts wondering whether to go on with work that seems unappreciated and resisted at every turn.  It rings out where love for a friend or a child is rebuffed.  It echoes in lives where our own ignorance and imperfection taint our best efforts to create something good.

The gospel of Easter is that no matter the suffering and doubts haunting us, no effort expended, no care shown for the Future of life is lost.  God preserves it and molds it into our destiny. 

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