Easter Isn’t Spring
(even if it helps!)
With Easter coming almost as late as is possible this year, we stand a chance of having some genuine Spring beauty (a rarity for Easter in these parts). But it’s important for our faith to remember that Easter and Spring aren’t synonymous.
It’s hard to wrap our minds around the fact, because it’s such a cultural emphasis, but Easter isn’t about Spring. Or, that is, the Christian celebration of the Resurrection (“Easter” actually comes from the name of a pagan goddess of Springtime) has nothing to do with flowers, greening grass, or bunnies and chicks. At most, Spring with its examples of new life is an analogy from nature for a Holy Day that means something much more. Remember, half of the world isn’t even enjoying the Spring season at this time.
The Resurrection is God’s ultimate statement on the execution of Jesus on the cross. What has come to be called Easter is God’s last word on the sin, violence, oppression, tragedy, and even death itself…which characterize human life. If we don’t understand this, it makes no sense to celebrate Easter in the same world context as the terrible tragedy in Japan, the violence in the Middle East or our city streets, and the deep personal losses many of us have sustained during the past year…
The Resurrection is God’s “something better,” which is everlasting love.
In the midst of the worst in the world, there is Good News, if we watch, wait, and help one another to discover it.
Jesus is risen…might be God’s theme song, with its meaning that we, too, are invited into new life. That is true whether or not it is “Spring.”
Therefore this dancing through iron doors,
This singing our way through blind walls…
Therefore these hilarities, against all reason,
And charities welling up for no cause. (from a poem by Amos Wilder)
Let’s keep a true Easter, not a Spring festival, but a timeless gift of faith.