by Jake Hall
published in Family Matters eNewsletter April 12, 2019
On Palm Sunday we will all gather in front of the sanctuary with palms in our palms and proclaim "Hosanna." We will pray at Evensong on Wednesday and mourn on Good Friday at the Tenebrae service. At sunrise, on Easter morning the Church proclaims, “He is Risen; He is risen, indeed!” Not every one of these proclamations will be easy to proffer at the moment. Aside from these proclamations, we will also offer heartfelt confessions that reveal the ways we revel and revile these words with our actions that prove otherwise.
Disciples of Jesus in every age look around at their world and its brokenness and frailties and wonder about just what kind of life, does this call and response of Jesus’ resurrection initiate? Our confessions during Holy Week affirm a sense of eternal security in the life to come, and also a present state which we inhabit and embody, here and now. Can we really make every week a Holy Week?
Wendell Berry’s 1973 poem, “Mad Farmer Liberation Front.” Berry’s lengthy work imagines the ends of a logical American life: “Love the quick profit, the annual raise, vacation with pay. Want more of everything ready-made. Be afraid to know your neighbors and to die…..Not even your future will be a mystery anymore.” Turns quickly to the illogic of love and the mysterious life to which we are called: “So, friends, every day do something that won’t compute. Love the Lord. Love the world. Work for nothing. Take all that you have and be poor. Love someone who does not deserve it…Ask questions that have no answers. Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias… Practice resurrection.” That last line, “practice resurrection” provides both comfort and challenge for those of us who seek to follow the risen Christ.
Children see the world in this way. As true visionaries, they look at the world and expect it to be filled with mystery and not merely the mundane. Try something this year. Watch the way our children search for easter eggs. Wait until you see that look on their face as they search for a mystery hidden in plain sight. I believe that same sense of wonder may provide a lesson for us visually challenged adults.
Could it be that the habit of searching for Easter Eggs could provide a corrective lens for our lack of vision? Even the term, “Easter Eggs” has become a common idiom for a meaningful symbol hidden in place site. It describes a set of secret features, messages, references in movies, tv shows, advertising and pop-culture that proved additional meaning for those with what Jesus called, “eyes to see and ears to hear.” Faithful fans find and celebrate these markers of meaning. They have trained their eyes to look beyond the story and to find these hidden gifts in the setting. Isn’t that it!
Practicing resurrection begins when we look for Christ’s living presence with the same expectation of curious children and faithful fans. If we practice looking for the presence of the risen Christ hidden in plain sight… If we train your eyes to see and take the time to look, we may find resurrection, here and now.