Today is Easter Sunday.
Easter means a lot of things – it is the center of the Christian faith, the most important day in the church calendar, an opportunity to be reminded anew of how disgusting marshmallow Peeps are (but they are so dang cute we keep buying them anyways).
To me Easter means one thing – Hope. Hope for the brokenhearted, hope for those who suffer and cry out in pain, hope for the restless and discontented, hope for the angry and the bitter. Hope, in short, for all of us – rich and poor, oppressed and oppressor, the 1% and the 99%.
Whether we wake up on Easter Sunday filled with joy or sorrow, contentment or deep suffering, surrounded by family or starkly alone – there is Hope. There is always Hope.
This is not a wishy-washy, wishful thinking, bunnies and unicorns and rainbows Hope – this is a strong, mighty, conquered-death Hope. This is a Hope that stood in the arena facing betrayal, injustice, torture, abandonment, suffering and death and defeated them all. This is a Hope that went to toe-to-toe with death and won.
Death is not the end of the story – it’s not the end of Jesus’ story, and because of that it’s not the end of our story.
Easter can be summed up in this beautiful statement – to borrow lyrics from a song I love – “death is a lie.” Death – of the people we love, of the dreams we hold dear, of deeply cherished hopes for our family, ourselves and the future – is not the end of the story. We are indeed “Easter people living in a Good Friday world.” “In this world you will have trouble but take heart I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
To me, Easter means this: God kicked Death’s ass – and for that I am deeply grateful.
Happy Easter, indeed. As my fellow Greeks would say, Christos Anesti! Alithos Anesti!
He is Risen. He is Risen Indeed.