John 20:1–18 (NRSV)
We come to the conclusion of Holy Week—ending in the excitement of Easter Sunday. A young student friend of mine, Paul, told of his childhood Greek Orthodox Easter celebration, when his priest strode down the aisle roaring “Christ is risen!” The congregation roared back, “He is risen indeed!” When the priest got to the entry doors, he burst them open and shouted to the whole world, “Christ is risen!” The congregation again shouted back, “He is risen indeed!”
That is what we need to remember and proclaim with boldness and joy. We serve a risen Lord who has vanquished death. And, because he lives, we, too, shall live in the joy of Easter.
As I write this with winter and COVID-19 closing in, the future looks murky and conflicted. But one thing I know: Easter always comes on time, in time. Battered though we may be, our Easter faith will revive and renew us once again. “Christ is risen!”
Christ is risen from the grave’s dark prison. So let our joy rise full and free. Breathe, O breathe, your quickening Spirit into the darkness of our lives, and lift our spirits with the hope that only you can offer. In Jesus’ name. Amen.