This is my first year celebrating Easter after returning to my faith, and like millions of people around the world, I find myself a bit disappointed that I will only be ‘gathering’ with my fellow Christians for an on-line service. I’m also somewhat saddened that my wife, who will be celebrating Easter for the first time as a Christian, will not be taking in the full communal celebration. I simply have to remind myself though that this celebration is not really about us, but about our Lord. Much more than a joyous Church service, this day and season are are about the Son of God and man who conquered death.
And Easter comes at a time this year when death is certainly on everyone’s minds. I have not been one to buy into the scare of Corona-chan. This quarantine situation is a firm reminder that our civilization is run by women with misplaced and unused maternal instincts and their functional doppelgangers, effeminate men. If our collective leadership had a normal T-count they would have said at the outset of this pandemic, “This is going to suck, but let’s take it on the chin. Better to get this over with. We’ll then be immune and not have to worry about it anymore.” Interesting to think that epidemic would long be in the rearview had we simply done nothing.
But back to death. It’s clear this virus is more lethal than the illnesses we typically see seasonally. Corona-chan is a stark reminder of the human condition. We are frail. We are not immortal. Sooner or later, Death finds everyone one of us. And that is what makes Easter so much fun. It’s a celebration of Life. It’s in the season of the year, too, but also so much more than just a coincidence with the blossoms that usually accompany it.
It’s also deeply spiritual. And while I am not someone who sees the devil or an angel as the cause of every of every stubbed toe or fortuitous parking space- though, I wish that I were… those types seem to have more fun than the rest of us- Holy week has always possessed a great spiritual weight to it, even when I was an unbeliever. Over the past two years at this time, though living in rebellion against God, I found myself in contemplation over the whole weekend of Easter with a deep awareness that purpose was missing from life. And I knew what that purpose was, but simply couldn’t bring myself to believe, again. Fortunately, God supplied to me over the past year what I could not do myself.
But that is the devil’s game, to make you despair. When you despair, you tend to think more hedonistically. And when you think hedonistically, you tend to make poor decisions. And when you make poor decisions both you and your loved ones suffer unnecessarily. The devil loves all of this. And over the past few months he has been more successful than usual at his little game of despair.
As Christians, we refuse to despair. As followers of Christ, we refuse fear. Death does not have the final world. No matter how bad the cross is, more importantly, there is also an empty tomb.