Given the gadgets we entomb ourselves with, our present economic demise, airport queues, political turmoil in the Middle East, and the continuing terror alerts: security certainly captures our imagination. Almost all the ads that bombard us feature a threat to some form of our security/well-being and then offers a product that offers salvation from the threat! Everyone and everything is interested in keeping us safe. At least, this is what we are led to believe.
Security must have also been on high alert, given all the reported claims from Jesus about coming back to life. That will be disastrous for the status quo, hence the attempts to make the tomb secure and to give a sense of having things under control. Control is what we seek today as fears multiply around us. Who will roll the stones of fears away? How would we ever get out of our economic meltdown, secure more jobs, deal firmly with immigration to the UK, close our borders from sanctuary seekers and be tough on terror?
Easter and resurrection suggest that all our efforts at making the tomb secure and at ‘sealing things’ merely serve to create a greater sense of our own insecurities. In the Easter and post-Easter stories, the Divine breaks through all human attempts to safely contain (Status Quo); to follow from a safe distance (Peter); and to wash our hands from taking responsibility as agents of death (Pilate).
There was also that unpredictable earthquake that shattered the security cordon around the tomb, causing some to faint from fright! The women, of course, did manage to maintain consciousness, able to ride the surprises around them, unafraid, and running to (not from) share the good news. Easter meant boldness and freedom for them, not having their lives dictated by the agents of death. Death, of course, is so easy to accept as the norm as it is all around us. It is more difficult to believe that life will triumph over death and good over evil.
Easter affirms that God is not in the business of formulating a strategy for containment, but an adventure of generous abundance. This is the fullness of life project which is at the heart of our life together as Easter communities. Easter declares: that God is creating a new heaven and a new earth (which we desperately need), that love is working overtime and that biodegradability is not the final word. God is still speaking! A new day with new possibilities has dawned and now our part in the story of Easter begins! How are we planning to live and practice an Easter life-style?
© copyright April 18, 2011