Just imagine. Your boss told you that you have that new position that you’ve been working toward. Just Imagine. You just got engaged to be married. Just imagine. Those test results came back negative. Just Imagine. You walk out of the hospital after your spouse dies. One more – You won the Publishers Clearing House grand prize soon to be taking a picture of yourself holding a check taller than you in front of your house.
You’re home now and find no one around to share your news. Your good or sad news. I guess it’s okay if you’re Simon and Garfunkel’s “I am a rock, I am an island” or Gilbert O’Sullivan’s “Alone Again, Naturally.” However, it’s a pretty gloomy night in your home when there’s no one to share. Sharing your good news lifts up your light and lights up another’s. That same light applies to distressing news. Unshared, it feels like it’s not real; it never happened; it’s not valid until it’s shared. Trust me on this. My two cats only want food; my good or sad news is entirely mine.
Easter is never mine but ours. It’s a collective season. Lent has the reputation of being a solo trip, whether that’s true or not, but Easter is definitely a journey we all travel together.
But I gave examples of “others toward me,” how about “me toward others?”The light of Easter is mutually witnessed through everyone’s everyday lives. A sincere welcoming smile and that includes your eyes. (The eyes always tell so much more than stretched lips.) Asking that flippant opening question, “How are you?” but, this time, waiting for a complete answer. Unlike the waitress walking past your table who asks, “How’s everything?” but never stops, and you yell, “It sucks,” but she’s three tables beyond you. A firm handshake. (Remember, a two-handed handshake only means that you’re running for public office or looking for a handout.) Easter is expressing meaningful, joyful words of encouragement, words of hope. Not in a pollyanna way but in a risen-Christ way. Because that’s who we’ve become because of this night, because of His sacrifice.
You should know by now that I love words. Well, it occurred to me writing this that adding “en” to the beginning and end of the word “light” means that you’ve received an even greater knowledge or insight about yourself or about another person. A revelation to be shared, whether about a situation, offering a bigger picture view to a predicament, or addressing a perplexing problem. In other words, a deeper understanding.
That is the Easter’s spirit and gift to us all. You know, we all sadly call it a day, as if it has a twenty-four window, and then on Monday, we call it a season for a couple of weeks. And then it’s on to the next holiday. I think we ought to make it our journey. I said earlier, “a journey we all travel together.”
Playing “Tug of War” when we’re young is one fun thing, but playing the same game with God can be quite troubling. (Take out the word “quite.”)
One more song reference. It’s the Beatles singing, “Hello, Goodbye.” Palm Sunday has its glorious “Hello, Lord, Hello Lord” (“Hallelujah,” in church lingo). Good Friday has its “Goodbye God, Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and those glorious angels,” with us giving in, giving up, and caving into our faults, foibles, and failings. You know what I mean; it occurs every single day. Are those three “f” words holding us down? They’re never told to anyone. Cue “Simon and Garfunkel” once more? Easter is also about sharing those three “f’s,” asking for others’ encouragement, prayers, and support.
Here are three more “f” words. How about three “f” words that are proudly and sincerely living within ourselves and then shared, like a virus, with all we meet: faith, fidelity, and fruitfulness. If you noticed, those three “f” words are all about growth rooted in the seeds of His sacrifice. Tonight it surely has the Resurrected Christ singing to us and every day afterward, “I don’t know why you say ‘goodbye,’ [when] I say ‘hello.” That’s the miracle of this night. That’s the miracle of our lives to be lived in God’s bright light every day.