Easter is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. Without Easter and the resurrection, Jesus would have been known as a great teacher, or a leader of his time, or a prophet, speaking for God, but not embodying God in such powerful way. Some of have said Easter is the greatest sign that God is with us. The resurrection offers us the kind of hope that transcends our human troubles and ultimately, even death itself. I know there are always some of us who have difficulty with the idea of resurrection. It requires the greatest stretch of our theological imagination to conceive of how it is possible and what it means for us. Ultimately, there is no proof of the resurrection. No one was around when it actually happened. All we have are the witnesses in the gospels who tell us of their experience with the risen Christ, encounters that profoundly transformed their faith. It is interesting in Matthew’s gospel how Jesus instructs the disciples to go now to Galilee and there he will meet them. It is a reminder that Jesus is always on the move. The resurrection experiences are not limited geographically. Easter is not just about a present discovery. It is about the future possibility of what God can do, how God will call us and meet us. All of us have a Galilee: the places we have to be in the days after Easter, returning to work, dealing with family, facing the opportunities and challenges of life. We may feel like the characters in our Passion story: stuck in a dark place; feeling abandoned or alone; the terror of facing a real evil; the difficulty of an insurmountable problem. The Passion account and Easter tell us these are precisely the places where God works.
Sunday, we meet the God of resurrection, who offers life to every one of us.
During Lent, our worship services and weekly studies have focused on the Gifts of the Dark Wood. We explored how times of difficulty and failure become places that reveal insights to us about ourselves and our beliefs. Instead of living our lives trying to avoid the dark places, we learn to see and receive their gifts to us. Uncertainty abounds in our world, given the realities of economics, politics, terrorism, and our increasingly fragile planet. We want to cultivate a strong and durable trust in God as we face uncertain times. We want to discover a way to receive and understand the insights from uncertainty as life unfolds for us. On Maundy Thursday, Rev. Eve Williams preaches on “The Gift of Misfits” and ends our Lenten worship series. Good Friday, we continue our journey to the cross as we near the end of Holy Week and the promise of Easter Sunday.