Saturday, April 11, 2009
Easter Sunday morning and the sky is glorious with sunrise. Bright light, like molten gold, pours over the eastern horizon, gushing through the tangle of limbs in the big sycamore beside the drive and dancing in gilded delight on the moving mirror of the river’s surface. The perfect light for this most holy of mornings, when Christians the world over rejoice in the resurrection of their living Savior. In a while, after breakfast, I’ll get dressed and drive to church for Easter Service. Listen again to that familiar triumphant story of the rolled-away rock and the empty tomb, the two Marys and the disbelieving disciples, of Peter rushing in to see for himself…and later, the undeniable truth of the risen Jesus. There will be prayer and music—and just maybe they will sing at least a couple of the beautiful old Easter hymns I so dearly love. Easter is my favorite service of the year, a message of eternal hope delivered amid the vernal rebirth of unfolding spring. Easter is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. Without Easter and Christ’s resurrection, the Bible becomes just another dusty text, Jesus simply another man, and Christianity merely a set of outdated customs and traditions. Belief in anything beyond the oblivion of the grave seems foolish. Except, I do believe the Easter story—believe that Christ died, was buried, and rose again. I believe it because I’ve tried to not believe and, thankfully, failed; because I find faith and belief fills something in me that remains restless and empty otherwise. The sun comes up on this holiest of days, reiterating my conviction in an everlasting beyond the constraints of time, while warming me in its light of grace. I write today for myself because there is so much beauty all around and my heart is overflowing. A new day is here and my spirit soars! Life is mine. There is jubilation, triumph, and exultation in the air, a scared welling which resonates like a pealing bell with who I am. Today I will celebrate Easter—because for me, there’s a wonderful, inescapable truth in this singular April sunrise.