It’s delightful that in this northern hemisphere, Easter tends to coincide with the time of new and renewed life springing forth all around us – chicks hatching and bunnies hopping around, seeds germinating, flowers blooming, and the promise of lawn-cutting in the near future.
The promise of new life, of renewed life, of eternal life, extends beyond the limits of our earthly metaphors and experience. Our human experience with life is one that is entirely interconnected with the experience of death; there is nothing within this realm that lives forever. In fact, much of new life is dependent on the input of the death that came before: nourishment for the living requires death of the food source (plant or animal), new vegetation is fed by nutrients from last fall’s decomposing plant life.
For those of us with faith, this is not the whole story; it is only the earthly component. This is life, and we are called to live life fully while we can.
The whole story, thanks be to God, addresses both this life and life beyond death. Jesus promised us that he came that we might have life, and that we might have it abundantly. To me, this abundance of life is hinted at in this realm, and will come to fruition in the next life. The kingdom of God is promised to be a place where death will be no more; only life – abundant life, joy-filled life, eternal life with all those we love (and who love us).
So I invite us, this Easter, to focus on the promise of life. Let us be thankful for the ongoing impact of death as it nourishes us in this life; let us keep focus, during our earthly experience, on the happy presence of life all around us; let our lives be influenced by the deathless, abundant life as promised to us by the Risen Christ. Our faith brings us the delight of celebrating the new life of being Easter people.
In the midst of this life we are in death; yet our Easter message promises us that in the midst of earthly death, we are in the promise of eternal, spiritual life.
May our hearts delight in the truth that the Lord of True Life is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!