The gospel reading for Easter in this year's lectionary is John 20:1-18.
The creation story in Genesis says that before light was let be, the earth was a formless void of darkness. The wind of God howled over the waters. I sometimes linger on that image of uncreation for a bit. No light. No life. Just water, cutting cold, and darkness. Then God spoke and everything changed. It's a powerful image. The Gospel of John taps into that power when it opens with language about beginnings, logos, and light.
And I have been thinking about how that swirling chaos could paint a picture of the Saturday between Good Friday and the resurrection. How the disciples must have felt like they were sinking. How it seemed like darkness had descended upon the earth. How everything that felt true and good in the world had died. Then God spoke through an empty tomb. Let there be light and a new creation sprang forth.
And I wonder if any of us really know what Easter is all about. Because it feels like it should go deeper than churches filling up for a Sunday of hype and the fact that we have a chance to go to heaven when we die. There has to be something more. For if the resurrected Jesus is the Genesis of new creation then should it not profoundly change the world? After all, Jesus preached the Reign of God is at hand. If his resurrection is evidence of that Reign bringing order to the swirling chaos and pain that is Earth then, well, it should do more than just getting people to come to church.
So the resurrection is about more than the afterlife as incredible as that alone would be. In the swirling chaos that is a world of hatred, greed, apathy, and death, the Reign breaking forth demonstrated by God's Son resurrected should bring life and light wherever its feet are planted. This evidence of this life should not just be confined to the walls of a church, for then it is not truly life. It's a popular club. But this life should spring forth everywhere you find footsteps of a person who follows the resurrected king. The resurrection should not just be an end of life occurrence, it should be an all of life occurrence.
Which begs a challenging question for myself: Do I truly seek to follow the Jesus of Resurrection Sunday? Do I seek to love God with all of my being, to love my neighbor as myself, and love in a sacrificial way? Do I seek to bring healing to places where there is hurt and life in the places where there is death? Do I hope in the new creation instead resigning myself to the broken chaos? Or do I just try to reap the afterlife benefits of the resurrected Son of God?
I believe that we are saved by grace through faith in the Jesus who came back from the dead. But I also believe that I all too often shortchange the power of Christ's resurrection in my own life and thus the world.