God tells the most surprising stories.
On Saturday we were lost in darkness and doubt. We paused to feel the weight of all the pain and sorrow. We wept with those who weep. We were caught in a moment of eclipse or under a shadow. But today, we pause to glimpse the other moments. The moments of life and of light; of truth and of joy. After all, an eclipse can only occur when there is a sun. In the words of that old Switchfoot song, “the shadow proves the sunshine.”
But that cliche is only possible because of God. We all know that darkness can exist without light. Space is just a vacuum. We can all read the opening lines of our bible and see that in the beginning there was only darkness. And this is where God begins telling his surprising story.
God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
What was that moment like? The first ever eruption of light—an interruption of darkness. It was from that moment that this duality of light and darkness has existed. And the light has persisted. In fact, our hope is that the light will eventually burn out the darkness.
What was that moment like? Probably not unlike the moment we celebrate on Easter. When Mary came to the tomb “while it was still dark” only to find it empty. The first ever resurrection—an interruption of death. It was from that moment that life has spread through the earth. The life has persisted. Our hope is that this life will stretch out beyond death.
God’s stories are surprising because they are not what we’re used to. His story runs contrary to our experience. Extinguished flames don’t reignite. Overturned neighborhoods don’t rebuild themselves. Barren and virgin wombs don’t bring forth life. Enslaved and marginal people are not glorified. Death doesn’t lead to resurrection. Or does it?
What I am learning from this season of Easter is how the resurrection of Jesus invites us to see the world in an entirely new way! In the resurrection God is inviting us and beckoning us to imagine a world where life does stem from death; where darkness does come out of light.
So, “if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” This doesn’t mean that we ought to be some far-off other-worldly people. It means that we should re-imagine the world according to the resurrection! Don’t think like death anymore; think like life! Dream of the possibilities of life and of resurrection. And while it’s still true that overturned homes don’t rebuild themselves, as God’s people we can be the ones to hold and hope and to rebuild. Let us be that people. People of the resurrection, bringing the world back to life.
O God of glory,
in the Easter dawn
you raised Jesus from death to life.
As we are united with him in death,
so unite us with him in resurrection,
that we may walk in newness of life
and re-imagine the world as you have made it. Amen.