“He is risen!” What amazing words. I hear them every year. “He is risen, indeed!” The pastor says it in her sermon; Facebook updates cheer it into the inter web; church signs shout it to the passerbys in their SUVs and minivans, to commuters with mortgages and teething toddlers.
But do I hear this, Lord? Do I catch these words like a punch to the gut, the way Peter must have? Do I welcome them with the uncertainty of Thomas, hesitancy that turns into unshakeable joy when he learns the news that is too good not to be true? Do I discover it with the faithfulness of those women on that early morn? Grief choked their hearts; fear dripped amongst their tears. And yet, while all else were sleeping or hiding, they came to you, even when there was no hope to be found with you.
And so they were the first to receive that ultimate hope: “He is risen!”
God, I my not hear this words like them. But I ask that you might strengthen me to live in such a way that whispers it every day, calmly, soft and yet strong, so clear that the people of this noisy world who are within earshot can stop and ask the most pertinent of questions: “what does that mean?”
I want my life to ask this question, dear God. I want everything I say, everything I do, to proclaim the mystery and beauty of an empty grave, of a perplexed disciple looking into the throes of death and finding its grip wrenched open and its power forever destroyed.
God, I can write these elaborate prayers all I want. And I can sing and sing and shout with everyone else this morning, before the reception and donuts, followed by a lovely ham dinner and children racing around the yard, looking for Easter eggs and chewing on peeps, which -months from now- will be stale in the cupboards and only good for microwaving. I can celebrate Easter. But can I live the question that follows: “He is risen! …okay, so now what?!!”
It is only by your grace that I hear this proclamation and, I pray, live this question. Help me live it, not only today, but forevermore.
“He is risen!” My God, what a matchless wonder.