What to do About Easter
What do you do with Easter when you're over The Church?
Seriously, I'm waiting for an answer because I certainly do not have one. What do you do when Jesus feels more real than he ever has before, when you sense his presence more than you ever have, when you can hear his voice louder than ever...except when you walk in a church? What do you on the day where you most want to hear his voice, sense his presence, and feel his reality?
Easter means so much to me. This being...the concept that we call God. Made himself flesh. Put on skin like mine and came to my home turf. He brought good news to the poor and bad news to the religious hypocrites. He came to destroy the kingdom of the world and bring a heavenly kingdom in it's place. And how did he plan to destroy this earthly kingdom? By dying.
Dying so I could live. It's the most cliche phrase but cliche's are cliche's for a reason...there's a truth buried it. A truth so beautiful it makes me weep. I am dying. The world around me is dying. And yet I live. We live. Why? Because a man died. It's ridiculous. It's insane. It's wonderful. It's the truth. But this man. This spirit made flesh. Death had no hold on him. In dying he conquered death itself. He walked out of the grave never to return. And then he told the women waiting at his tomb to go tell the rest of the world that they too could leave death behind forever. I love Easter. That feeling is not up for debate. What is up for debate? How I feel about The Church.
How do I celebrate the thing I love the most in a venue that lately on my best days I feel apathetic about and on my worst days I actively hate? Rachel Held Evans in her book Searching For Sunday wrote something that I keep coming back to as I deal with these feelings.
There are other people singing words to hymns they’re not sure they believe today, other people digging out dresses from the backs of their closets today, other people ruining Easter brunch today, other people just showing up today.
And sometimes, just showing up - burial spices in hand - is all it takes to witness a miracle.
So I guess that's what I do. Like the women who made their way to the tomb in the dark of the early morning sure of what they would find I will come. Sure of what I'll find. And maybe just like them I'll be surprised by a miracle. And honestly? Maybe death isn't so bad. Defeating death requires death. Jesus taught me that. Despairing over death is the wrong tactic. My old feelings about my faith and culture have died. Good. Maybe they needed to. If something is going to be made new the old things MUST pass away...to make room.
Easter will come. And I will go to church. And I will mourn the death of what was. And I will rejoice in what will come. New Life.