Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Proclamations

Amidst the haze of uncertainty, there abounds Easter clarity

The Gospel of Mark, believed to be the earliest gospel text (composed around 60-70 CE), records the Easter episode in a provocative light. Far from joyous celebration, candy and plastic eggs, the scenario depicted in Mark lifts up the human experience of disbelief, doubt and downright fear.

When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.’ So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. (Mark 16:4-8)

Bookending an account of Jesus that time and again reports the disciples' ignorance and unfaithfulness, this description of the Easter event speaks, I believe, so directly to the heart of our contemporary world. Is ours not a similar age of 'saying nothing because we are afraid'? How often do we flee the tomb of trust and hope in favor of 'realism'? What would it mean to venture beyond proof? To live as if regardless of whether in fact? When the promise of a new optimism presses through the darkness of the unknown or hard-to-believe, let us proclaim the miracle of Easter.

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