As I sit here on this Easter morning preparing to go to church for the third time in four days I can’t help but think about what all this means. Today you will see signs and Facebook posts declaring that, “He is Risen,” but what does that mean?
The resurrection of Jesus is central to the Christian faith, but is it enough to believe that Jesus was resurrected? That when Mary went to visit his tomb she found the stone rolled away and the tomb empty, and that Jesus once again walked among them. Is believing in that enough?
I do not believe so. Faith alone becomes a crutch and worse a cudgel. Many followers of the Christian faith throughout history and in this day and age have turned their faith into a series of dogmatic don’ts. They wield their faith as a cudgel of hate against anyone too different from themselves. Throughout history that has been people of different faiths, people from different nations, people with different skin tones, people that desire same-sex relationships, and most recently people that don’t identify as their birth gender or a gender at all.
As a new member of a church and of recently baptized children I have been asked both if I accept Jesus Christ as my savior and tasked to teach my children the Christian faith. This is an important task indeed. It is one that is most difficult as well, but we have guidance. We are told if we seek we will find and over the past 40 days and 40 nights I have sought, and I have landed on this.
Jesus has asked us to do a few things. Things that are simple but are in no way easy. He has asked us to not judge, to not condemn, to give, to forgive, and above all to make ourselves humble before our fellow man and to love others as he has loved us.
Before his arrest and execution Jesus went with his disciples to pray. He asked them to wait and watch with him. They were not up to the task and fell asleep. When Judas and the Roman soldiers came to arrest Jesus his disciples fled. Peter, when confronted and accused of being a follower of Christ, denied Jesus.
We all fail. We all doubt. We all have missteps. This is the point of the resurrection. This is a season of rebirth. We have spent the past 40 days and nights reflecting on what all this means. it is now time to put it into action. For me that means being the best example I can be to my children. Showing them how to be humble, kind, caring, and empathetic. To love others with the same steadfast and unconditional love that Jesus showed us.
Loving people, especially those whose hearts are filled with hate, is never easy, but it is what we have been asked to do. It is what I must do as a parent. To show my children that the best way through a world of cruelty and unkindness is love.