On an Easter kept through a pandemic, I am reminded…
Easter does not mean that Christians do not weep, that we do not hang our heads in sorrow when a grandfather says goodbye too soon, when the cancer returns in the young dad, when the smoke smothers a man in his bed, when the strength of the boy is spent, when breath grows short, when legs curl up under covers.
We do cry. Jesus cried a lot (John 11:35; Matthew 23:37; Isaiah 53:3). And we cry.
When Moses died, the people of God mourned for 30 days (Deuteronomy 34:8).
Easter doesn’t mean we are affliction-free or carefree winners.
Easter means we weep differently.
We weep in hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). We know better days are ahead.
We weep knowing our sorrow has meaning (1 Corinthians 15:58).
We weep to turn in comfort to others (2 Corinthians 1:4).
And ironically, because of Easter, we can weep more deeply because we know there is a bottom to the sorrow, an ending point. And so we are not afraid to “go there,” to embrace all the pain, all the sorrow, all the mix of love and loss, to kiss that sweet memory and let it go, to know people for all they are, their divinity and worth and then the pang of losing that.
This Easter, amid the losses and unknown, hope springs tenderly like the dawn sun on that first Easter morning, like a green shoot out of a black stump.
Hard days are ahead. They always were. Better days are promised. And they will come.
So we sing and sorrow. We weep and worship. And we wait.
We wait. We wait. We wait.
And we hold on, declaring…
Christ is risen. Christ is reigning. Christ will come again.