In church last Sunday, when the children gathered for a special message, I made a feeble attempt to talk about why Easter is important. I could almost see my words drift off into the air as their little eyes glazed over. This is a normal reaction from 6-year-olds when they hear adults yammer on about heady concepts like resurrection. It’s not only 6-year-olds, though; I’m pretty sure I saw some 60-year-old eyes glaze over, too.
Resurrection is the focal point of my faith and when I talk about it, I want my eyes to shine with hope and sparkle with joy. I want that for the ones who hear me, too. No glazing; only shine and sparkles. So I’ve revised my approach.
Easter means that Christ is alive. A cave and a big rock could not hold Jesus; death could not keep him down. Christ is as near as breath and closer than skin. Jesus is present when things are great and when things are lousy; when we succeed and when we fail; when we love well and when we don’t love at all; when we’re rich and when we are poor; when we are sheltered and when we are vulnerable. Christ whispers, “Come on; you can do it” when you feel like giving up. He is our biggest fan and most powerful advocate.
I know all of this because it’s in the Bible and because I have felt Jesus near me through all of my life. It’s hard to explain, but sometimes there’s just a sense, a knowing, that I am not alone and that there is a Loving Presence all around me. That’s why Easter is important and why our church talks about it a lot. “Christ is risen!” means that Christ is alive and with us always and forever.
May our eyes shine and sparkle with the presence of the living Christ.