How do you take the reality of Easter and make it real in your own life?
Matthew tells us what the women did when they discovered that Jesus was alive. “The women, deep in wonder and full of joy lost no time leaving the tomb.” (Mt 28:8, MSG) Imagine how it changed them and they way they lived. How can we embody the wonder and joy of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection? It's hard to fully take it in and comprehend all that it means.
Barbara Brown Taylor rightly points out that we can practice living as Easter people. It’s not something that just automatically comes to us. We know that Jesus has died and rose again. We know that because of that, he has taken on and overcome sin and death and the power they have over us. Because of Christ's victory over the grave, we reconciled to God and invited to live with him now and forevermore.
The resurrection is more than a future hope. It also has to do with the way we live today. We need to be reminded that God’s hope is alive here and now. Just as God spoke the world into existence and breathed life into all that is, Jesus breathes new life into us through the power of the Holy Spirit as the Risen Christ, alive and present, here and now.
John O’ Donohue helps us reflect on what this means. One Easter morning he shared:
“let us look again at the lives we have been so generously given and let us let fall away the useless baggage that we carry — old pains, old habits, old ways of seeing and feeling — and let us have the courage to begin again. Life is very short, and we are no sooner here than it is time to depart again, and we should use to the full the time that we still have.
We don't realize all the good we can do. A kind, encouraging word or helping hand can bring many a person through dark valleys in their lives. We weren't put here to make money or to acquire status or reputation. We were sent here to search for the light of Easter in our hearts, and when we find it we are meant to give it away generously. The dawn that is rising this Easter morning is a gift to our hearts and we are meant to celebrate it and to carry away from this holy, ancient place the gifts of healing and light and the courage of a new beginning.” *
Taylor writes, “May the news of Christ’s risenness touch the dead spots in your heart and bring them back to life, so that you become part of the good news that flows forth from this place today. May you be springs of living water in all the dry places on this sweet, parched earth. May the fresh life that God has given you spill over to freshen all the lives that touch yours — in your homes, in your work, in your schools, and in your cities. May you be Easter people.”**
*John O’Donohue, Dawn Mass Reflections at Corcomroe Abbey, April 15, 1992.
**Barbara Brown Taylor, Cannon Chapel, Emory University, Easter 2006.