When I first heard that Easter falls on April Fools’ Day this year, my mind immediately thought about how many people think I’m a fool for believing in the Easter story. I can hear them scoffing, “Do you believe in the Easter bunny too?”
It’s a question I’ve heard many times over the years: “Do Christians really need to believe in Jesus’ resurrection?”
It is, after all, a pretty difficult idea to accept. And this is not just a modern difficulty. It’s been obvious to humans for a very long time that dead people stay dead.
Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.
I always love this joyful affirmation of life and hope on Easter morning. When it is still grey and cold outside, when the world news is so overwhelmingly negative, when many are dealing with losses and heartache, it is so amazing to be able to say: “Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.”
“Crucified Woman” by Almuth Lutkenhaus-Lackey (Photo by Susie Guenther Loewen)
The sculpture above stands on the grounds of my theological college, Emmanuel College in Toronto, of the United Church of Canada. I used to walk by her almost daily, on my way to class or the library. She has become more and more meaningful to me as I’ve learned more about her and as my knowledge of feminist, womanist, and other liberation theologies has deepened. Now that I’ve moved away from Toronto, I miss her, and I find that she is missing from a lot of our theological reflection on the significance of the cross and Easter as well.
Excerpted and translated from a sermon preached at Niagara United Mennonite Church, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., on April 26, 2015. It is based on chapter 21 of the Gospel of John, the well-known story of the disciples back in Galilee shortly after Easter.
Lent is a 40-day season on the church calendar that brings the story of Jesus into the nitty-gritty of community life. It brings the story into everyone’s own particular time and place.