Easter is the season of resurrection. Christians around the world remember and celebrate the story of Christ's victory over death. Our churches are filled on Easter morning (you have to come early to get a back pew seat!) as young and old gather to sing with joy "Christ the Lord is risen today! Alleluia!"
Easter is a joyful day. But not everyone feels joyful, just because it is Easter. Some of us are in mourning. Some of us are depressed. Some of us are just sick and tired. I must confess I -- yes, even I, a pastor -- haven't always found it easy to rejoice on Easter morning. Sometimes Easter just comes too soon for me. There have been a few Easter Sunday mornings when I have awakened in a dark, Good Friday mood, feeling forsaken.
I know that others feel forsaken, too. One thing that has helped me to overcome despair is my faith in the resurrection -- not just a resurrection after death, but a resurrection in the midst of life. Resurrection, I believe, is not just a one-time offer. Resurrection happens, again and again.
Consider the common tulip bulb: brown and crusty, hairy at one end and pointy at the other. Looking at the bulb gives us no clue about the glory that is to come, each spring, when the bulb is born anew as a flower!
God is able to do the same with us. No matter how ugly our life seems to have become, God can and will, in time, make something beautiful arise. We may not be able to see it, but we can trust that God is at work in us.
In the bulb, there is flower; in the seed an apple tree;
In cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free!
In the cold and snow of winter there's a spring that waits to be --
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.
-- Natalie Sleeth, from "Hymn of Promise"
So, even if joy seems to elude us on Easter morning, we can arise and sing the alleluias, we can stand and proclaim with the congregation, "Christ is Risen." And we can trust in God to raise us up, again and again, in this life and in the life to come. Alleluia! Amen.
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