"Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed." - 1 Corinthians 15:51
A mystery! One we can't understand.
Listen, we don't have to understand the resurrection to cling to it, to be lifted up by it, to be changed by it.
Once changed, we'll find it easier to forgive, knowing that eternity is far too long to bear a grudge. We'll live confidently, knowing we don't need to earn a thing; eternity is already ours. We'll live lives of small generosity, listening to wounded souls tell their stories long after boredom has set in, letting harried young parents and our elders go before us in line at the DMV. We have all the time in the world. Who wants to rush through eternity?
We'll live in ease, coordinated to the rhythm of spring breeze, blue sky, early daffodil.
We'll down all our defenses, take off all our armor. We don't need it anymore. Death has been defeated so we'll take a step toward heaven, not by dying, but by realizing that eternity has just begun.
Sounds good. But it is two days after Easter. And the truth is that the lilies started to droop just hours after the last trumpet note faded to brunch. Some of us have already returned to work or homes where death behaves as if the game were not already won.
What are you going to do when Easter Sunday fails to solve your every problem?
I know the answer. Go back to church. Not next Easter, but this Sunday. In five days. Go back to church. And walk through the doors hungry for the resurrection.
Dear God, don't let us confine Easter to Easter. Amen.
Matt Fitzgerald is the Senior Pastor of St. Pauls United Church of Christ, Chicago, IL.