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Glimpse of Grace…Do We Dare Take Easter Seriously?

Easter is about so much more than bunnies and eggs.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I like the traditional American trappings of Easter. When I was a boy I used to get a solid chocolate Easter bunny each  year. On Easter afternoon my dad and I would sit together in an easy chair and devour the little bunny–piece by piece!  I colored hard boiled eggs with my mother.  To this day, every time I smell hot water and vinegar I have a flashback. I hunted Easter eggs in my back yard. When I was a real little boy I sat with my mother and listened to an old 78 rpm record of Irving Berlin’s “Easter Parade”.  I can still hear the scratchy sound of Fred Astaire and Judy Garland singing,  “In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it, You’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade.”  And I miss the Easter bonnets. They’ve gone out of style in my culture, but while walking through a department store a few weeks ago I spied a display of big beautiful Spring hats—Easter bonnets! I tried to talk my wife into buying one, but alas.
    When I say that Easter is about more than bunnies and eggs I am not trying to be a curmudgeon or a grumpy old man. I am merely saying that we must be careful not to get so caught up in the trappings of Easter that we tame the both the radical-ness of the Easter message and the revolutionary teachings of Jesus. The story is familiar to many of us, maybe too familiar. We’ve heard it so many times that we’ve become inoculated to its transforming power.
    Jesus of Nazareth born in a little back water village in a remote corner of the great Roman Empire of very humble parents grew in wisdom and stature and favor. He healed the sick, and touched the untouchable. He seemed to go out of His way to find the marginalized. At the end He was betrayed, denied, crucified and buried. End of story. But no, not this story.
    On that first Easter morning Mary Magdalene was met by the wonder and mystery of the tomb. The great stone that sealed assured Death of final victory was rolled away. She ran to Peter and to the disciple simply identified as “the one whom Jesus loved.” They, in turn, raced to the tomb. Each person at the tomb looked and saw something different. One saw grave clothes neatly folded. Another saw faith. Mary saw angels. Then she mistook a Stranger for a gardener.  Like the disciples who walked to Emmaeus and only recognized the Risen Lord at the breaking of bread, Mary recognized the “gardener” as “the Lord” when He spoke her name!
    What are we to make of all of this? What does all of this mean?  If the One Who Was Crucified, Dead and Buried is alive, then everything is different, forever different! It means that we have to take Jesus seriously!  We need to seriously consider a new way of life—not just an after life but a here-and-now life!
    Do we dare to take Jesus seriously enough to believe that there is a better way?  If so, Forgiveness is not optional equipment in life but an a new Reality, no matter how difficult it may be for us to forgive. And Generosity is not just something that we do with “left overs” but with “first fruits”! And Peace? Well, peace is not just a state of mind or heart but the reconciliation of warring factions.
    If we take Jesus seriously, do we also dare to also believe that the Kingdom of God is right here, right now, in our very midst!  “Wherever two or three are gathered in My name, ” He said, “I’ll be in the midst of them!”  Do we dare to believe that the Kingdom of God touches the brokenness of this world through our touch, whenever we reach out to the least, the last and the lost?!
    And do we dare to believe that those things we hold on to so tightly because we are so insecure in our relationship with our Maker are not really ours—never were and never will be?  Can we come to terms with the reality that we are merely sojourners passing through this world on our way to a place we long for but can never find in our hearts, a place called Home?!
    Do we dare to believe these things? If we do, then Easter is about so much more than bunnies and eggs bonnets and parades. It is about daring to believe—and following the One who went to the Cross and the Grave and Beyond.

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One thought on “Glimpse of Grace…Do We Dare Take Easter Seriously?

  1. Frosty loved this “Glimpse of Grace”. I remember the song you mentioned and earring Easter bonnet and going to church on Easter Sunday with my mom and dad and the aunts at Arcadia Presbyterian ( I suspect you were not there at that Easter as I only remember Vicki and I; no brothers).

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