A post for those who are interested in a Christian take on Easter.
I love this time of year, don’t you? There are signs of new life everywhere, from the flowers and wild garlic in the hedgerows, the lambs in the fields and the fresh green leaves unfurling on the apple tree in the garden. Nature’s renewal after the winter sleep is life-affirming. And suddenly it seems, we are approaching Easter, arguably the most important time in the Christian calendar. First we mourn a death and then we rejoice in the miracle of resurrection.
My four-year-old grandson earnestly related to me the Easter story, following a visit to his school by a theatre group. His retention and recall of the events as they had been told was excellent, and he finished by telling me,
“Jesus was the most magic man ever, because he was the only man in the world who could come back to being alive from being dead. That is SO magic, isn’t it, Nanny?”
I agree that there is a degree of magic about the concept of resurrection. Such revival is a concept with which bereaved parents may become familiar. Not so much in the early days of loss, but further along the line, you realise that your self is rising Phoenix like from the ashes of your grief and loss and you are living meaningfully again, in the mourning light.
You are reborn into a life that is different and will always contain a space that is the shape and size of your child, but the miracle is that you can survive the worst loss of all and thrive in your future life. You take on a mantle of hope and optimism with the passage of time, possibly helped by the rebirth of the Spring season and the Easter message.
I wonder how we would react if the crucifixion and resurrection took place now, in modern times, in our home town? Would we mock and spit upon the holy man upon the cross as the Bible reports it? Perhaps we would have more compassion; we would turn aside, unwilling to witness the cruel and hideous act that is so alien to consider today.
And where would they put his poor, broken body? There aren’t many tombs with boulder entrances around our towns … I guess he would be laid in a place of worship, guarded and watched over. People would flock to leave flowers. A book of remembrance would be started. There would be candle-lit vigils and prayers.
And then, on the day of resurrection, what would happen?
(What? You turned your backs and he disappeared? He is alive? Can’t be true. Can’t be a miracle. Must be an illusion, a clever magician’s trick).
Sightings would be reported from Scotland to Southampton, with numerous images appearing on social media. How would we know, today, what is truth and what is fiction?
I think I prefer to rely upon the historical telling and retelling of the Easter story as we know it.
Happy Easter everyone, for Sunday!