Now that Easter is over, where should we look for resurrection?
On Easter Sunday, new life was everywhere – it was so easy to see. Our 6: 30 a.m. sunrise service was cloudy and we didn’t actually see the sun rise, but there was a hearty group of people gathered to sing in the new day. It was a good celebration.
Later on that morning, our sanctuary was filled to overflowing as people squeezed into the pews and lined the back wall. The purple drape on the Cross was replaced with fresh flowers. Easter lilies crowded the window sills. The pulpit was surrounded by tulips and daffodils. Our plain, simple, somewhat stark Congregational meeting house was suddenly blooming with color. And then there was that wonderful moment when hundreds of people lifted up their voices to sing, “Christ the Lord is risen today!” Our shouts of “alleluia!” bounced off the walls. There was no doubt – even a newcomer or a stranger walking in off the street would have known – this was a day of celebration.
But what about now? The crowds went home. A freak storm erased every sign of spring as the daffodils and crocuses were buried under wet, heavy snow. My phone started ringing early on the Sunday after Easter. “Is church cancelled today? Should we try to come in through all this snow?”
Just a week after Easter, signs of resurrection were hard to come by. Worship attendance was sparse on that Sunday after Easter. The leftover flowers looked a little worse for wear. The volume of the hymns – still songs of resurrection during this Easter season – were notably quieter.
Sometimes it’s easy to see Easter.
Sometimes – not so much.
Sometimes there are visible, obvious signs of new life.
Sometimes we have to really search to find some Good News to celebrate.
Where do you see signs of resurrection these days? How do you discover the hope of Easter?
The disciples had the same challenge 2000 years ago.
Mary stared the risen Christ in the face and still didn’t see the hope standing in front of her. Resurrection was unrecognizable in the middle of death, surrounded by grave sites, and steeped in silence.
It’s so easy to believe in failure. We can be overwhelmed by death and desolation, violence and defeat.
Resurrection, though, is trickier. It’s often subtle; we have to search it out. It was wise Mr. Rogers who famously said, “Whenever there is a tragedy, look for the helpers.” That is where we will see God. After the bomb blast, in the midst of a storm, during a crisis – look for those who are rushing in to help. That’s resurrection. There is hope even in the midst of despair.
The Good News was announced at the tomb, “He is not here, he is risen.” The women ran to tell the others. And that is how rebirth and new life is shared.
Where will we recognize God at work? And how will we spread that Good News?