Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
The Lord is Risen, indeed! Alleluia!
From the time that I was a young child, I can remember that my mom loved to announce the rising at Christ at Easter. Even during the years when I could have cared less what was happening in the church on Easter morning, my mother would be on the other end of the phone, gleefully and joyfully proclaiming, "He is risen!" Clearly, Easter was a favorite holiday for her, and spoke to her in a meaningful way. It only seemed appropriate, then, that the recessional hymn at her funeral at Christ Church in Exeter would have to be "Jesus Christ is risen today." And what a good, and right, and joyful thing it was that the assembled congregation belted out that hymn with full gusto. A real tribute to my mom's delight in the resurrection...both in her earthly life and what I imagine is her life with the Communion of Saints.
Singing of the risen Christ in full-throated voice is precisely what one should do today if one believes in this incredible and crazy story. Nothing can be more amazing then the thought that not even death could trample down Love. No tomb can keep it contained. No locks can keep it hidden away. Absolutely nothing stops the power and beauty and radiance of Love.
It would be easy to simply keep this resurrection tale on the pages of the Gospel and say, "Well that all happened then." But I believe the reason my mom used to call me every Easter to remind me that Christ is risen is because that tale isn't just one for the books of the Bible; it is a truth that speaks to us today, and is needed in our lives today. Not a physical raising from the dead; but the metaphorical coming to life that must happen in our lives if we are to keep on going in a world that desperately needs people to be alive with Love in their hearts and singing songs of joy on their lips. As our country's political landscape grows more hostile and divided, now...more than ever...do we need people to tap into that root of Jesus' message: we are to love one another as God has loved us.
If Jesus Christ is to rise, we must also rise with him and in him to be the force of Love and change this world needs. Alleluia!