Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter Hope 2012

"Of course the women were there first
And never doubted His appearance.
Women are acquainted with blood. They tell life
     by the stain of blood.
They give life by the stain of blood.
Men, when they see blood, think death--
    think endings.
Women, too, know blood and death.
But their bodies are acquainted with
The never-ending miracles of blood
   and life.
Within their mourning slept that knowledge.
It brought them to His resurrection,
Ready to greet Him without question.
Their blood singing with joy,
They ran to tell the others:
"He Lives!"
       --Joan Eheart Cinelli

Every Easter I remember a scene at the Passion Play in Oberammergau in Germany I saw years ago. The play opened with Jesus riding into Jerusalem for the last time. The play ended with the Resurrection. And in-between, the drama of the last days of Jesus’ life took six hours to tell.  

I was not prepared for the Resurrection scene. The crucifixion had been particularly graphic. The stage went dark after Jesus was taken down from the cross by his loved ones. In the last scene of the drama the weeping women move through the darkness and stood behind these huge doors that represented the locked tomb. They knocked on the door and nothing happened. Then an angel came and without saying a word she unrolled an aisle cloth from the door down, down the steps toward the audience. As the women looked on, the door slowly began to open. Light, dazzling light slowly filled the stage and bathed the darkened room where we sat with light. After a long pause through that open door and the streaming light Jesus came. He walked down the steps and from stage left and right a hundred children come running forward and grabbed his legs laughing and laughing as the chorus sang joyously. 

That’s Easter for me. Light and hope and new beginnings and love and laughter. Somehow my old nine-to-five appointment book is disturbed once more. The predictability of my days is thrown off kilter. The thus and so-ness of my life--worries about money or health or children or just the weary world—is suspended for just a moment. And I can make it another year.

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