"Easter starts in the dark."
Amidst our Easter celebrations, it is easy to forget where the Gospel of John begins its Resurrection story: "Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark…" The darkness described may be more than physical. Easter starts in death. It starts with Jesus in a tomb. The situation seems final and closed.
Then the light rises.
Most of our Easter celebrations focus on the light. A visit to a Christian worship service on Easter morning reveals a swell of colors and a celebration of life. There are flowers, and brightly colored eggs, and colorful clothes. It is a reminder that when we thought things were at their darkest, something new was afoot. The colors are reminders of Spring, signs of hope, examples that light dispels the darkness.
Some Easter celebrations actually do start in the dark. Many churches plan Easter sunrise services carefully timed to begin in darkness, but end in light--just like that first Easter morning. Such services are reminders that Easter started in the dark. They remind us that even in the darkest, quietest, most chill hours of the pre-dawn, God is at work making things new. And this is the promised of Easter. In the pre-dawn hours of that first Easter, all seemed lost for Jesus' friends. But then something unimaginable happened: Jesus was not dead. He was alive.
As Rev. Jacob Armstrong reminds us in this video, Easter acts as notice that God is at work making things new. We may see things coming to an end. But we are encouraged through Easter to never stop looking for the miracle.
[Written and Posted by Rev. Ryan Dunn, April 15, 2109]