Sunday, April 8, 2007

Alleluia, Christ is Risen!

The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia!

I awoke this morning before the dawn, thinking about the last few days. I know my post yesterday sounded rather depressed and bleak, but that really is not what I was feeling. There is something powerful about that time in between death and new life, and that time should be honored. But today: today is about new life. Riotous, beautiful, joyous, scandalous new life. Extravagant love - seemingly wasted on us humans, us flawed and unlovely humans. Extravagant faith in us - God's faith that we are more than our flaws and ugliness, that we are capable of great love and kindness and compassion.

I am glad today that I am not ordained, and not just because of the complete exhaustion of observing the Triduum. I have no idea what I would preach on the Resurrection gospel, because it is completely ridiculous to me. Think about it, all the elements:

  • a God in human form
  • allowing himself to be tortured and killed
  • loving us all the while, even as we clamor for his execution
  • pronouncing words of forgiveness as he dies
  • ... and coming BACK?
I believe the expression that most captures my reaction to this is: WTF?!?

And yet, he did. Despite the complete impossibility of dying and then getting back up and walking - in a form that could be seen and touched - this is the story I choose to believe. This is the God I choose to trust. This God, this Jesus, who has stood with me in the darkness, who showers me with love even when I push him away, who promises to save me from my brokenness. And all I have to do is trust. Love. Forgive.

It sure sounds simple. Hrmph.

My son is incredibly bright, and gets very frustrated when he is trying to learn something new, and it isn't coming to him right away. I can sympathize; I have experienced that same frustration. When I come to him, try to soothe his frustration, I say, "Son, nothing worth doing is easy." And I believe that. Trust is hard. Love is hard. Forgiveness may be the hardest thing we are called to do. Learning to walk and talk and read are hard. A new sport, a musical instrument. Welcoming strangers into your home. Feeding the hungry, comforting the grieving, visiting the imprisoned. Jesus taught us a very simple message, but a very, very hard one.

And that's okay. I try, maybe not my best, but God knows I'm trying. And in those words of love and forgiveness, Jesus made me okay. Thanks be to God.

I wish you a blessed Eastertide - all fifty days of it! - and all the scandalous joy and extravagant love that God pours out for each and every one of us.