Struggling with Easter
I struggle with Easter. Don’t get me wrong. I “get it”, intellectually. But come early Sunday afternoon, once I’ve awakened from my self-induced, chocolate-rabbit, diabetic coma, I will ask, “Now what?” How do I translate Christ's Resurrection into my everyday life?
For a long time I felt Easter was about dressing up to tell God, “Congratulations! You did it! Thanks!” But God doesn’t need my adulation. It is I who need to give it to Him. God doesn’t need my thanks; it is I who need to thank Him. So what does thanking, praising and glorifying God do to me? For me?
God designed us to find what we look for; and we look for what is important to us. The next time you’re preparing to purchase an item, notice how frequently you see it. It’s as if there are more in existence now that you’re shopping for one. The brain, knowing you cannot attend to everything, helps you by drawing your attention to what you deem important.
One function of religious practice is to help us attend to the sacred in everyday life. But that’s not easy. Death, violence and crime dominate most media, making it seem as though death is more prevalent than life. But that is not the reality.
Perhaps this is why the Church takes eight days to celebrate the feast of Easter. It seems we need that much time to allow “Resurrection” to sink in. We need eight days of seeing white cloths and flowers, smelling incense and fragrant lilies, singing “Alleluia”, chanting “Gloria”, restating the promises of our Baptism and feelings its waters sprinkled onto our skin – over and over and over again to believe Christ conquered death--and still reigns over it today.
Celebrating Easter helps us to see. It is Christianity's most powerful reminder that Light shines amidst darkness, but we must look for it--for Him. We'll usually find what we're looking for.