The Monday after Easter sees us back to business as usual. Our jobs summon us to prove our value, family obligations do not let up, all the various pressures, possibilities, and uncertainties of life continue. Life moves on, as it always does, but where is it going? This is where the Resurrection perspective enters in.
Churches tend to be full on Easter Sunday. Not like the old days, to be sure, but more people manage to find a church door on Easter than at any other time of the church year, including Christmas. Why? Some criticize those who find the church door only at Easter for their casual treatment of worship. But I think hope has a lot to do with it. In fact, I think it has everything to do with it. And why shouldn’t it? If there is one commodity in short supply in our bald, techno-mad, secular age it is any reason to have authentic hope.
Thinking God’s thoughts after Him has become the cornerstone of modern life. In fact, the voices of cold reason proclaim that this is all there is. Nothing is higher than man’s reason. We are the masters of our own future. Hope is in us.
The voices of cold reason have also given rise to an agressive atheism which continually attempts to debunk religious faith, and instead wants to tie the human future to, well, who knows? Scientific progress? Evolution? Medical advances? Interplanetary colonizatrion? Don’t worry about it though. By the time the evolutionary, utopian future finally gets here you and I will be dead and will have no share in it. Now, there’s a hopeful thought!
Reason and curiosity about life has given humanity something to do from the very beginning. I suspect this is what God had in mind for us all along. Other creatures pretty much follow their unerring instincts. God gave us the capacity to do more. We uncover, explore, examine, investigate, test and theorize. The benefits – and risks – are enormous. The human gift of reason with all it’s marvelous capabilities, untethered from the awareness that such reason is a gift of God, however, becomes a mechanism for evil with all the terrible consequences. But none are more terrible than to strip the human heart of it’s trust in God.
So, I for one am not going to cast criticism at those who managed to find a church door on Easter Sunday, even against these relentless pressures of arrogance and godlessness that are all around – and within us. For in the hearing of the message of the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus authentic hope is released and may take hold of the heart. God is not impressed with the exertions of human reason. He is not going to play that game. He owes us no explanation. This foolish wisdom of God, as St. Paul termed it, gives real to hope to you and to me. The resurrection of Jesus has opened a real future. Life is going somewhere, and that somewhere is to God Himself.
“May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”