Sunday, April 5, 2015

What I Know About Easter


As I was growing up, no one taught me a single thing about God

I was not baptized.
Literally never went to church.
Didn't even touch a Bible, let alone read one.

Whatever I thought about God - and I did think about him quite a bit - I had to figure out for myself.

And I'll be honest. Easter not only puzzled me; it downright creeped me out.

I mean, I knew I was missing a lot of the details. But an innocent guy got nailed to a cross, stakes pounded through his hands and his feet, and left in the hot Middle Eastern sun to die?

And then a couple days later, he popped back to life and just up and walked out of his grave?

No. I didn't accept that any story with those gruesome plot points could possibly be about love

Because I knew in my soul that if God is about anything, he has to be about love.

* * * * *

Decades later, I still have moments where I push back against the hideous circumstances of the Easter story.

The lies, the brutality, the bloody violence.
The nails, the spears, the crown of thorns.

I don't like those bits at all.

But now I know for sure that on a deeper level, Easter is a story of God's love.
The world is a rough place. Ugly things happen, innocent people suffer and die. 
But that is not the end of the story. God has more for us - all of us - and when he decides on the time and place, we will move on from this world into the next, swept up in unimaginable currents of tender forgiveness and never-ending love.
Now I daresay that most card-carrying Christians would generally agree with my summary. And I'm sure that, later this morning at Easter worship, a man wearing a long robe and a cross around his neck will stand up front and explain in great detail what I am basically trying to get across

But my grasp of Easter doesn't come from what I have been taught.

I know about Easter not because I was baptized.
Nor because I go to church.
And definitely not just because of what I read in the Bible.

I believe that Easter is a story about God's unending forgiveness and and abiding passion for the whole world because I know in my soul that if God is about anything, he has to be about love.

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