So it’s been awhile since I’ve blogged…sorry about that! It seems like there is either nothing to talk about or WAY too much to put into a blog. However, since Palm Sunday was yesterday and we are now in Jerusalem, I figured I’d write about Easter.
To be honest with y’all, I had TOTALLY forgotten about Easter. My housemates asked if people had plans for Easter, and I needed to clarify when it was. As someone who had always been in a church, and always aware of when Easter was, it felt really strange. It was logical though: I haven’t gone to church in a few months. My work week is normally pretty stacked with work hours, evening meetings, trips to the Capital (my nemesis) and trying to maintain some semblance of a social life. And the glory that is sleep. That’s crucial. With such packed weekdays, I really look forward to the weekends. It’s my chance to sleep in, do what I want, and not have to worry as much about serious things. Sadly, church was one of the things that fell to the side.
It’s not that Austin has zero churches or they all suck. In fact, Austin has a lot of really incredible churches in a variety of denominations and faiths. None of them really called to me though. I felt comfortable sleeping in on Sundays, or getting up early to either watch or play soccer. Sure there was guilt at first for skipping church, but I liked the things I’d do instead of church. And so my church life petered out until guess what? It’s Easter!
Easter is a odd time for me. Yes, I am incredibly thankful for the death of Christ on the cross and for all that he taught us. I understand (as much as a person can) what his death truly meant. But I also know the other side of the story, the part that isn’t mentioned much. The side that involves a rebellious young man who spoke out against the horrors of an empire. A young man who taught a radical kind of love that involved everyone, regardless of status, skin color, lifestyle, or disease. A young man who was eventually betrayed, beaten within an inch of his life, and THEN sentenced to death in one of the most gruesome manners humanity has thought of. Easter is brutal and real, a literal sacrifice for humanity. It is a little intimidating because that is where Jesus calls us to go.
Part of Easter also involves hope. I think that’s where my struggle with the event is most challenging. Sometimes, especially in this horribly broken world, it’s hard to find hope. Immigrants are branded ‘criminals’ and ‘illegals’ for migrating, one of the most basic natural rights of all things. Innocent children are killed with chemical gases. Politicians blow the shit out of other countries to defend those very children, even though they would never help them find safety in our country. State and federal governments work to erase the hard work of thousands of people and try to take away the rights of trans folks, same-sex couples, women, and anyone else they feel threatened by. Police still murder folks with little or no punishment. Native peoples see their land continually destroyed so others can make a dollar.
Our world is truly broken. It sucks. And it makes it hard to appreciate the hope that Easter and the Resurrection brings to the world. So I ask that we pray for the people of the world who cannot find hope, and for those like me who seem to become only more and more cynical. Pray for those who suffer every day and for those whose lives are at risk every day. Pray that we can live our lives like Christ, using every breath of ours to fight against injustice and pain, even if it eventually cost us our lives. Pray that we can create a new Resurrection of this world, one that is truly based on radical love.
Honestly, I don’t know how much of Easter I’ll be celebrating this year. Come Sunday, I’ll most likely be watching Chelsea take on Manchester United and wishing I had some Easter candy from my family. However, the hope will still be there. The hope of something different, of something radical. The hope of a new beginning. Regardless of where you find yourself on Sunday, try to find some of that hope. It’s what we need during such dark times.