Easter has never felt like a terribly big deal to me. I grew up in the Church, so as a kid I heard the story constantly. All it ever seemed to mean was a chance to be on stage acting out a bit part in the passion play my mother was inevitably directing. The day itself seemed unimportant. Jesus died. Rose from the dead. We talked about it enough throughout the rest of the year that at best, Easter just seemed to be emphasizing a point I had heard over and over a million times before.
Yesterday I had to help Leah carry some stuff to church, so I got up early and went with her. She had to do kids’ city during first service, so I packed my camera and decided to get some pictures before the rest of the city really woke up. As I walked out of the church I ran into some fellow church-goers who greeted me from several yards away by intoning, “Good morning… Our Savior has risen!”
I was dumbfounded. Somewhere in the back of my brain, I knew that there was an official response to this type of blatant cult-like behavior, but the only word I could pull was, “Indeed”. So that’s what I said. Apparently, that was close enough to get a pass without further scrutiny. As I walked away from that encounter, all I could think about was how ridiculous Christianity must sound to an outsider. Who are we to throw stones at the Easter Bunny? We believe in a magician who told his followers to eat his flesh, drink his blood, and we would get to go to an invisible palace in the sky, and then was promptly put to death. The only account we have of what happened comes from exceedingly biased sources. I’m not trying to be disrespectful, but let’s face it… Christianity is weird. And yet… There’s something about that Jesus guy, right? This character that shows up on the scene in the sequel to a bunch of story books who somehow managed to speak in such a way that we’re still arguing over what he really meant.
Later, I sat in service and listened to the pastor talk about the resurrection. The service was punctuated with songs in unexpected places. I liked that. It gave me time to really think and reflect on things in bite sized chunks.
“Okay… So, there’s God. He’s this ridiculously complicated benevolent force that exists… somewhere. Everywhere, actually, if the Bible is to be believed. He knows everything. His power is limitless. He can rewrite the very laws of physics if he wants to. In fact, one day he decided to create a universe, and actually created the systems that run said universe. He figured out molecular cohesion and cellular respiration and decided to make gravity a thing. He decided he wanted more and created unparalleled beauty with sunrises, and rock formations, and spiral galaxies. But it was still empty. So he created oceans and tributaries and fjords and filled them with whales and puffer fish and giant squids. Then he moved on to algae and grass and weeping willows and giant cacti and populated them with puffins and sparrows and chipmunks and warthogs and just to show us he can be silly, duck-billed platypi. Finally, everything was ready. People happened. Countless millenia ago, God set in motion the string of events that led to you, out of anyone you could have been, led to you reading this blog. A planet full of people; all living their very own lives, with their own hopes and dreams and desires and fears. God has done all of this, and all he wants, the only thing he really wants… Is toknowus. God wants to interact with us. Talk to us. He wants to listen. He wants to be heard. And I think he saw that we wanted it to.”