[It’s way past Easter but I’m just getting around to sharing my thoughts. It still seems pertinent. This originally appeared as an Instagram post!]
My feet are dangling from the hammock, grass-stained knees and mud-marked jeans witnesses to one too many crawls under the barbed-wire fence.
The hammock is gently rocking and the chatter of the birds covers the field, the grasses growing long — waiting for a haircut, like many in quarantine.
It’s the small things like listening to the birds, or catching butterflies, that have helped me practice a reverence for God. This is something I have been praying about, and struggling with, for some time. A friend or two remarked to me that I’ve got it a little backwards. Often, we have so much reverence for God that we forget he is our friend. I, on the other hand, think I’ve gotten a little too familiar with Him for my own good. We’re at the point of sarcasm and a bit of flippancy.
However, on this Easter morning, I am finding this profound, newly discovered reverence especially comforting.
Easter is, in my opinion, always significant. But, this year, with Covid19, it’s extra significant. Why?
Easter is the triumph of life over death — something I feel is especially pertinent right now. It seems the news is only ever reporting the deaths, and rarely the good.
Death is life’s period, the -30-, as we note in journalism. While it may signify finality, it also symbolises the unknown. I think we’re really afraid (at least I speak for me) of the unknown and of what we can’t control. Isn’t control and certainty what we seek in money and power and the quest to avoid death? I do think so. Just like I think no one wants to actually be rich and famous — wealth and power alone are useless. It’s the acceptance, belonging, and feeling of security that they bring that makes them valuable.
Jesus’ death is the most dramatic display of love — laying down your life for someone else. I confess I could not fathom doing this.
More importantly, his resurrection is what makes the story fantastic. Through his resurrection, death loses power, and we are reconciled and justified to God, that we may become righteous and have access to an eternal life after death.
My church in Paris, La Cité, put it very well Easter morning. We have new life on earth as well. Here are five excellent points we can apply to our lives — no matter your faith or lack thereof.
1. Real love triumphs over fear. Even the fear of death.
2. Real love seeks the welfare of others before its own.
3. Real love shows compassion to those who (we think) don’t deserve it. And it is mighty easy to deny compassion to people who have hurt us or make us uncomfortable.
4. Real love breaks the status quo and seeks the marginalized. Jesus did this often, choosing to acknowledge, love, and engage women, children, and those disdained by society throughout his ministry.
5. When we accept this real love of God, our deepest, most profound hurts and sorrows can be healed.
Joyeuse Pâques! He is risen. May this season bring to you boundless grace and bountiful compassion.