Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter's over ... now what?

            So, the tomb is empty and Jesus rose from the dead. Now what?

            I’ll tell you what. It is Tuesday morning and the four day weekend holiday for the schools is over. Most businesses were open yesterday and by today the old routine is back in full swing. But, considering the Easter Weekend past, is anything different?

            One of the dangers of being nearly 2,000 years removed from the pivotal miracle of Christianity is that it can be really easy to take it for granted. The Easter pageantry broke forth Easter morning in full splendor. Church attendance had its usual Easter increase. The triumphant story of the Empty Tomb was told. Joyously triumphant proclamations of “He is Risen” filled church worship liturgies. Truly, it was a wonderful Easter Sunday!

            Was anything different on Monday morning? Is today just like any other Tuesday? Will the remainder of the week be just like any other week?
            How many Christians will see the world through transformed and renewed eyes after Easter? How many Christians rise from the penitent customs of Lent to live a transformed life in the Resurrected Christ? How many Christians walk away from the deadly and life-destroying behaviors just as Christ walked away from the empty tomb never to return again?

            Is it harsh to suggest that if Easter is merely a pageant of celebration that does not change lives we have missed the whole point of Christ’s resurrection? 

            Although the four Gospel accounts of Christ’s resurrection share uniquely different details about that miraculous morning so many years ago, they all contain a message of profound action. Witnesses of this incredible miracle are expected to alert a world that has been radically and permanently changed.

            In many ways the worship and pageantry of Easter Sunday in the various traditions and customs of our churches are means by which we too can share in the wonder, surprise, and awe of that first Easter morning. Yet, in so doing, the same expectation placed before those who were the first to know of God’s most incredible miracle extends to all of us who experience the miracle anew in worship tomorrow morning!

            Romans 6:2 further illustrates this profound truth. Essentially, Paul challenges us with the idea that if, in Christ and through the annual remembrance of his triumphant resurrection, we proclaim to be dead to sin, why then would we choose to continue living in sin?

            So the challenge lies before all of us! As this week progresses will the only legacy of Easter be an unusual quantity of hard boiled eggs and baskets filled with candy? Or, will the legacy of Easter’s celebration be lives so radically transformed that the whole world is a new and better place to live?

            Christ has made the potential for transformation a reality. Yet the choice is ours alone. Just as God choose to give life to Jesus, let us also choose that life and all the transformation that comes with it! 

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