Easter Sunday and Our Fear

Easter Sunday and Our Fear

“Do not be afraid.”

Why does the resurrected Jesus need to keep saying this to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary and all the disciples? Is fear the human response to resurrection?

Admittedly, to see a dead person walking and talking would give me the shivers for sure. Is this momentary fear that turns into courage? Or is it the human response to the reality that life as we once knew it has been turned on its head and something has happened that changes everything? Probably both.

This realization should help us understand why people resist Christianity. If they are seriously considering what we are saying, it is a leap of frightening proportions. They (and we) have no capacity for integrating this resurrection faith with everything else they believe.

It is like a crashed computer, a totaled automobile, a bankruptcy – the end of what we once had. Fear may be a good sign of serious discipleship. I suppose that is why the first words of Jesus to folk like us are, “Do not be afraid.”

What a life is to be had on the other side of fear.

Happy Easter!

Resurrection

Resurrection

They were dead-eyed. The married couple walking home following the weekend crucifixion of Jesus were trudging along the Road to Emmaus. They had been to Jerusalem with hopes that Jesus would fulfill their Messianic expectations. The exact opposite happened. Everything they hoped for was shattered at the end of Roman spikes and spears. And Jesus joined them on their journey.  In the Luke 24 story, pay attention to the eyes. Their eyes were “kept from” recognizing him. We are not told how nor why.

As they walk, Jesus interprets Messiah in a different way, which includes suffering and death. Their hearts burn within them, but their eyes are apparently still closed. Which seems to suggest that the best of preaching, interpreting the scriptures, apologetics, and witnessing can leave a person with heart flutters of possibility, but dead-eyed nonetheless.

It is only when Jesus sits at table with them, breaks the bread, and blesses it (and them), that their eyes are opened.

Resurrection is not as much about great explanation as it is about vibrant dinners around tables. And we who have had our eyes opened at such gatherings still dare to believe that Jesus will show up and open more eyes.

First Day of Spring

First Day of Spring

Our tradition is that I get Denise flowers on the first day of spring. Now that we have two furry creatures in our home who love to eat flowers and knock over glass vases, the tradition has warped into plant-able yard flowers, usually daffodils. We have a growing spread of them in our flower beds.

Which begs the theological question, is Easter like spring? It certainly shows up on the calendar that way.

Spring arrives and Easter is not far behind. I’ve heard adults explain the Easter resurrection of Jesus like spring flowers: what was brown and dead springs back to life again every year.

Well, yes—but no.

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