Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed.
Easter means waking up to good news. When we were kids, maybe that meant running to see what treats the Easter bunny left us--perhaps getting up much earlier than usual. As adults, maybe it means waking up a little earlier too; to breathe in the spring air and give thanks for the resurrection of the earth before we head to worship.
On this Easter Sunday, we woke again to the news that the tomb was empty; and the reminder that the empty tomb means new life. At the same time, we awakened to the news of horrific bombings in Sri Lanka, resulting in hundreds of lives lost. There’s a painful tension between these two narratives. How can the truth of resurrection stand alongside the reality of so much violence and hate?
And it didn’t end with Sunday. Tuesday brought news of an earthquake in the Philippines. Communities all over the world are still reeling from recent disasters. And every day, we are mindful of the refugee crisis in many places, with the numbers of displaced people reaching an all-time high.
How do we hold the good news of resurrection alongside so much human suffering?
There is no easy answer. But in every place where there is pain and heartbreak, our Easter good news reminds us that there is also new life at work in the darkness. In each of these places, we hear an invitation to respond as people who believe that good news is always coming. Or, as the poet Wendell Berry has said-- “practice resurrection.”
On Easter Sunday--and every day-- we are Disciples who embody a resurrected Christ. We believe in the power of a love that transforms all things: even death. Every time we respond to suffering in that spirit--whether with prayer, presence, or financial gifts--we practice resurrection. And we trust that good news always comes in the morning.