Digging at the confluence of culture and everything else
Easter is Not the End of the Story
04/05/2015Posted by on
Easter is about hope. Easter is hope. It is the tomorrow that promises many other tomorrows. But it is also a day like any other. Many people will die today. Many people will suffer. Many people will give up hope forever and let the darkness swallow them into death and into evil. That is because Easter is not the end of the story. Easter is not a magical panacea. Easter is hope.
Christianity – at least the sort I am part of – is a story that leads to a relationship. A relationship with God, with Christ, with Love itself. These, for the Christian, are the same thing. (Also different things, our relationship status on Facebook is “it’s complicated”). That story cannot end in death on Saturday and still have the same meaning. Perhaps any meaning, because without a better tomorrow, all we have are the Powers. Christianity is actually pretty fatalistic about the world, because we realize that humans will never, ever be perfect on their own. We will continue to break things because we are broken. Without the Powers, without religion, without tribe, without politics, without the interference of malign forces, we would still be warring, and fighting, and breaking, breaking, breaking things and each other. Easter, the Resurrection, the point where Jesus of Nazareth, preacher becomes Christ, Son of God resurrected hope that the broken things will be made whole and that we will be made whole so we can stop breaking things. But the world is still broken this Easter and the world is still broken after every Easter and I am still broken after every Easter.
Christianity isn’t magic. The Creed isn’t a spell that you can mouth to bend physics to your will. Baptism may break the chains of your imprisonment but it won’t remove your scars, destroy the nightmares or give you your lost time back. Easter is a celebration because of and in spite of all of the brokenness. Easter is understanding that we ought not act like the older brother when the prodigal returns (though we do) and that we are have been and will be the ashamed and shameful younger brother. At Easter we give thanks for the intervention we have received instead of lamenting the intervention we have not. We, on Easter, are Lazarus instead of all of the other people that died that day.
Evil continues on unbothered by Easter, the Powers still rule and we are still broken. But Easter is hope. Easter is the punctuation mark at the end of the last sentence of the second act. Turn the page! God pleads in whispers. Turn the page! God shouts in demand. Turn the page! God urges us lovingly. Be not afraid, for God is with you. And with fear and trembling for what will befall all those we love we must. Only fools dare turn the page, believe in the foreshadowing written before them. Only fools believe that love can defeat death. But it will. It has. It is doing it right now.
Easter is hope because Easter is not the end.