Ian told me I could diverge from the assigned readings because of the holiday, so I’d like to tell you about the year I discovered Easter.
Somehow, I grew up in a family that went to church every Sunday (sometimes twice, in case the first sermon didn’t take) and attended mid-week too, but I never once thought of Easter as significant. It was just a big meal on Sunday.
But then in the Easter season, when I was 19, I did a reading plan a lot like this one. Some days I was inspired – others I ran on autopilot. Something special happened on Easter Sunday.
In most hero/adventure stories, there’s a part when we believe the hero is dead, and the villain will prevail. In storytelling, we call it the ALL IS LOST moment. But then, someway, somehow, the hero returns, calmly smiling as enemies tremble and flee, and the day is won. As I read the resurrection story that Easter, I finally saw Jesus as that hero. It was like I experienced the triumph and joy of every inspiring movie or novel combined in a single moment of elation. It was an epiphany; Easter’s never been the same since.
I’m writing this on the first day of spring, and for once, I don’t know what I’m doing this Easter. In just five days, our response to the COVID virus has gone from “No gatherings of 250” to “Don’t go to work” to “Isolate yourselves.” I see only my immediate family, and I don’t know if I will see many others for months. I don’t know if we saw the first of many, many deaths in Alberta yesterday, I don’t know if by April 12 we’ll be seeing fatality rates like Europe’s, and I don’t know if we’ll be facing an ALL IS LOST moment.
But I do know this: Jesus, my redeemer, lives. And I know that one day, I will see him with my own eyes. That moment of victory, that triumph of my hero will eradicate all the fear and pain that this world can offer.
Maybe you’re alone today, or not at a family gathering thanks to COVID. But I was lying alone on my bedroom floor one morning when I discovered Easter. Today, try reading a little extra. Luke tells a good death and resurrection story, 23:33 to 24:53. Put yourself in it. See yourself on the road with them, in the room, at the tomb. Easter is here! And it’s for you! Discover it again.
Playwright, bow hunter and frequent contributor to 2020