Dear Friends in Christ,
When I was growing up I did not do well in school. I was a very poor reader until I was a teenager, and all the way through high school and even college I struggled with math. It was as if people where speaking a foreign language when they tried to teach me even basic concepts in math. When other people seemed to get it, I was lost and confused. No amount of explaining could help me. All this difficulty effected how I felt about learning for a long time. I share this with you because I think that there may be a link here to our faith journey. As math seemed like a foreign language to me, so it seems that our faith experiences may also have a component of something difficult and beyond our easy understanding and may even feel foreign to us. How do we explain the empty tomb, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the new life it offers us. It goes so completely beyond what we know about life and death and the laws of science and the world! Yet having said that, I tell you that I believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is not something I know with my mind but with my heart. It is not something I can explain in a logical manner because, let’s face it, it is not logical.
For thousands of years, hundreds of generations, since the resurrection of Jesus, women and men have been saying ‘there is something here that I do not understand – but which I do affirm. Why? Because there is a longing in us to grapple with that which seems just beyond our reach of understanding and then to come to the place where we let go of our need to know, and claim the power of simply believing in God. No amount of explaining can explain the unexplainable unless we simply lay part of our lives down into the care of God. I do not have a great theory of the resurrection, but I remember the words that we will hear in the Easter morning readings from John 20:1a, “Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark…” I believe that for each of us our faith begins on that first day, while we are still in the dark of doubt. It may in fact be a slow and even painful journey of faith, but it begins when we come to confront our places of anger and doubt and disillusionment. It begins as we move toward, rather than away from, confronting God.
How I long for Easter this year, and every year. I still have questions for God and I still find that my faith is like struggling to learn a new language or a math concept, but I have also found that I love the journey and I know that God is with me each step of the way. So I invite you to Easter Joy, not because I completely get it, but because I know I will be in good company of others also journeying forward in faith.
May our days be filled with the truth of God’s deep and abiding love for all creation in Jesus, Christ
crucified, Christ who died, and Christ who is Risen from the dead.
Easter Blessings to All,