April Fool's, Easter and Me
For the first time in my life, Easter fell on April Fool’s day. It’s been 62 years since the last time. And because it happened during my year of spiritual contemplation, I have to sit with the impact of this “coincidence” and ponder. Somehow it seems like the ultimate pairing. The women have anticipated all day yesterday about their trip to the tomb today. I imagine that within each of them was a strong urge to care for their beloved. There was a drive to do what was proper and a dread that it was ultimately real. The hours leading to that walk – to their approach to the tomb must have felt like swollen moments ticking away too slowly.
I decided on Good Friday to change my Saturday routine completely. I usually have something playing on the television for background noise – a movie, documentary or tv series. But Saturday would have none of that. I’m not sure why I thought it was important to go without that, but it felt right. I wanted my “world” to be disrupted so that I could feel the change of Easter morning in a different way. Saturday felt constrained. I anticipated Sunday would feel liberating (relatively speaking of course). Saturday was a day I spent going about my routine without the routine. I found different things to do to ease the intensity of the silence around me. I played music I hadn’t sung to in years (and yes that was me singing along without reserve). I danced around my spaces recollecting where I’ve been and considering how this movement was inviting me to incorporate it as part of my everyday life now. I thought about how my life has changed from the immature adult me to a more seasoned adult me and not with scrutiny but with a matter-of-fact appreciation. After that, and a huge sigh, I wondered what I would do with the remaining 12 hours of my Saturday.
I thought about the women readying themselves to make the trip at daybreak. Saturday was not an ordinary day for them either. It was the first time in their lifetime that they would be making this journey for someone as important/significant to them as Jesus. I wonder if they slept at all. And then it was time. And they went.
Here’s where the pairing I mentioned earlier demands my pondering. The tomb was empty. What do you mean he’s not in there? April Fool’s! It seems the perfect human response right? Because if he’s not in there… who took him? What does this mean? We have to tell somebody.
Of course being post-resurrection people, we have the advantage of already knowing the rest of the story. I think there’s this continual tension between being witnesses to the resurrection and the inner conflict that touts the veracity of our faith. So the challenge for us is to live our lives as an extension of the Story – living within the constraints of our humanity yet in the fullness of our morality: a morality that is not characterized by 2018 watered-down, vainglorious compassion, but a morality formed by the lived example of Jesus with us.