Alleluia! Christ is Risen! The Lord is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!
These are the opening words of our Easter celebrations. At the Great Vigil of Easter, after the new light is kindled and the story of salvation told, new water is blessed and these words ring out—the candles on the altar are lit and the Gloria is sung. On Easter morning, our worship service begins with these joyful words.
What do they mean to you?? Another Easter come and gone, good music, lots of flowers, too much chocolate and maybe an Easter Egg hunt?? Or do they speak of new life and possibility? The resurrection is all about hope for me—that God has the final word and isn’t done with us or our world yet.
In a time when conflict abounds and our country is polarized in so many ways, it is easy to begin to feel hopeless. In our personal lives also, when it seems like each day brings worse news, it can begin to feel like hope is fleeting. Easter reminds us that hope is often found in struggle.
Certainly, those last days for Jesus were full of hardship, struggle and disappointment. His disciples even more so as they came face to face with their own inability to maintain their commitment to Jesus at his death. But that struggle produced hope—hope that death is not the final word and that God’s word will prevail. That hope was hard won and is available to each of us.
When we struggle and survive, we develop a sense of possibility, a store of memory that tells us new life is not only possible, but that it comes to us out of our struggles. Hope develops when we experience pain and suffering and yet we still live, even thrive in the face of it. Hope is what keeps us afloat.
The Resurrection story is one of hope and new life. My prayer for each of us this Easter Season is that we are made aware of new possibilities, new life through our lives in Christ, and that we never lose hope and our faith that God’s kingdom will prevail.
Alleluia! Christ is Risen. The Lord is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!