By Jay Kieve
“Work smart, not hard.”
I don’t know where I first heard that phrase but I think I like it. So when Sue, our CBFSC web editor, told me we needed an Easter blog for our site, I thought I’d “work smart.”
So I searched my computer files for the word “resurrection,” hoping that I might have already written an article about Easter. Adapting is easier than creating, I thought.
The results of my file search were: zero Easter articles, a bunch of mediocre sermons, a couple of decent sermons, three Powerpoint presentations, and pretty much every funeral I’ve ever preached.
Hmmm…I felt a stir of emotion as I read all the names of those people I’ve buried. Some were church members and dear friends, others were near strangers, friends of friends and distant relatives. But over all of them I said, and churches heard, that Jesus’ resurrection is our hope for life that is stronger than death. Jesus’ resurrection is the assurance that God’s love is powerful enough to overcome the worst possible thing, death.
Honestly, this pandemic year has been so hard…loneliness, isolation, altered work, limits on relationship. This year has been so hard…we lost friends and loved ones to covid but also to cancer, heart disease, and all the heartbreaks of being human. Death has been all around and this year it came with the addition of an up-ticking counter on the evening news.
Easter is a lot of things to us. Baskets and bonnets and bunnies that all make wonderful children’s memories. Celebratory worship services with grand hosannas that fill Christians with joy and hope. All of these are good and appropriate.
But this year in particular, I’m glad that my lazy search reminded me that Easter’s promise speaks long after the plastic grass and pastel eggs are put away. Jesus’ resurrection declares in every moment of death, “this is not the last word.” God speaks the final word for us and it is “love” and so it is also life.