What the Wonder of Easter Means for Us

I have been thinking about the wonder of Easter. We are filled with wonder in the face of something beyond us that is new and surprising and awe inspiring. In Matthew’s account, “The women, deep in wonder and full of joy lost no time leaving the tomb.” (Mt 28:8, MSG) I want to embrace the wonder and joy of Easter but I think it is hard to fully take it in and comprehend all that it means. Barbara Brown Taylor rightly points out that we need to practice living as Easter people. It’s not something that just automatically comes to us. We know that Jesus has died and rose again and in God’s goodness and power the same can be true for us. But 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:

“On this Easter morning, 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.