It hasn’t taken much time at all for the pastels of Easter outfits, the vivid colors of plastic eggs, and the wondrous assortment of jellybeans, chocolates, and even chewy peeps to become just memories.
Such items have been returned to storage, consumed in abundance, or put aside as the next big event, whether it is graduations, birthdays, or Memorial Day that now draws our attention.
For even those of us who call ourselves Christ-followers, Easter, with its joyous hymns, dramatic elements, and marvelous and mysterious recounting of the resurrection of Jesus the Christ, seems already distant and so very – well – over. It is as though it is now time to return to familiar, common patterns and routines just like before.
But if Easter gives testimony to anything, if the resurrection holds any significance, we can’t simply live the way we used to, nor can we go back to the way things were. No, because the resurrection of Christ changes everything – everything is new!
For those of us who believe that the resurrection is God’s “Yes” to life, then our worst enemy and source of greatest fear – death – has been defeated. Now we view life here differently. We assess risk differently. We focus on matters differently.
Even with its messy complexities, life is now all-new – new joys, new opportunities, new ways of loving and serving. We live life now at full stretch, arms wide open, knowing that there is life, then death, and then more life after death. We live knowing that our worst days are not our last days, for God, the author of all life, gets to write the final chapter. And this makes all the difference.
This assurance that there is more than we can see, more than we can comprehend, allows us to face each day seeking to find, relish, and give thanks for all the good in all the places good might be found. Seeing everything as new gives us hope even when all seems hopeless. And it causes us to acknowledge that the most meaningful life there is, is the life connected to God and connected to one another.
The decorations and trappings of Easter might very well be gone, but the great gift of God’s love continues to call and challenge, affirm and comfort, all at the same time and in ever new ways.
May it be true for you, and me, too!
Pete Berntson is the pastor of Church of the Palms United Methodist Church in Okatie.