Ancient church mothers and fathers often greeted one another with the phrase, “Give me a word.” This greeting led to the sharing of insights and wisdom. Today we continue this tradition with this monthly column.
By Rev. Mandy Sayers
Pastor, Covenant UMC, Gaithersburg
Easter is at the heart of what the church has to offer the world. We can’t promise that life with Christ will mean you won’t get cancer or car trouble. After all, the One we follow
We can’t promise that people will like you, or say nice things about you. Jesus even said, “Blessed are you” when people revile you on account of him and other scary and unappealing things (like blessed are the meek, those who mourn…and that bit about losing your life to save it). What we can give, what we can promise, is Easter.
Our Easter is not just one single day, a kind of Mardi Gras party with a hangover following it. Our Easter is not about chocolate eggs (though I do love a good chocolate egg), or that toxic plastic Easter basket grass.
The Easter we offer is about new life and new life eternal, the sure and certain hope of the resurrection. The Easter we offer has made sin, hell
But Easter is more than that — this Easter that we offer the world. The Easter we offer tugs on our present life, on our morning routines. It whispers new life into old marriages and sends hope into desperate situations. It causes stones in front of tombs everywhere to shudder: the tomb of the 17th IEP meeting for a precious boy, the tomb of the layoff, the tomb of the midlife crises, the tomb of addiction, the tomb of despair.
What’s a well-meaning, lifelong Methodist to do with such an Easter as this? It’s enough to make even the most jaded among us stare wide-eyed and slack-jawed. A stone rolled away. Graveclothes folded. Normal, rational, reasonable people... United Methodists, even... running from the tomb full of joy, like children released into the sunshine of a blue-sky world on the last day of school. Joy rising up in the throat with a song that says, “I have seen the Lord.”
That’s the Easter that God offers the world. It’s not a plastic bunny Easter. It’s a hope and a love so strong that no Good Friday can withstand it. Christ the Lord