Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Easter Miracle

Let Frederick Buechner remind us again of the power, glory, and truth of that great Easter event:

"We can say that the story of the Resurrection means simply that the teachings of Jesus are immortal like the plays of Shakespeare or the music of Beethoven and that their wisdom and truth will live on forever. Or we can say that the resurrection means that the spirit of Jesus is undying, that he himself lives on among us, the way that Socrates does, for instance in the good that he left behind, in the lives of all who follow his great example. Or we can say that the language in which the Gospels described the Resurrection of Jesus is the language of poetry and that as such, it is not to be taken literally . . . the coming of spring with the return of life to the dead earth, the rebirth of hope in the despairing soul. . . . If I believed that this or something like this was all that the Resurrection meant, than I would turn in my certificate of ordination and take up some other profession. Or at least I hope that I would have the courage to.

In their way they are all miracles, but they are not this miracle, this central one to which the whole Christian faith points.

The proclamation of Easter Day is that all is well. And as a Christian, I say this not with the easy optimism of one who has never known a time when all was not well but as one who has faced the Cross in all its obscenity as well as in all its glory, who has known one way or another what it is like to live separated from God. In the end, his will, not ours, is done. Love is the victor. Death is not the end. The end is life. His life and our lives through him, in him. Existence has greater depths of beauty, mystery, and benediction than the wildest visionary has ever dared to dream. Christ our Lord has risen."

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