Artist: He Qi
I love the work of He Qi, the artist of the above image. I’ve used another one of his paintings for past Easter posts – and I love the colors and emotions he captures in his art. I love the look of surprise and confusion in the people’s faces above. Do we still feel that way? Here we are at Easter, once again. And for many pastors and staff in churches around the world, we will breathe deeply once today is done and we can rest. Do we experience the surprise? Do we experience the scandal of the resurrection? Do we allow ourselves time and space to fully appreciate and contemplate it?
Probably not. Unfortunately, it probably comes and goes for many of us…even though Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15 that without the resurrection, we essentially have no faith. There is no point to this thing we call Christianity if there is no resurrection.
Now, regardless of where you stand on the whole issue of whether or not the resurrection literally happened, I think Easter bears incredible significance for Christians and the way in which we live in and interact with the world. For because of Easter, we know the end of the story. We know that the final word is not a word of death and defeat – but that it’s a word of victory over death, of life…of wholeness and of God’s shalom for the world. And like the disciples experienced that day, this word is not one to keep to ourselves. Whether we fully understand it or not (and we can be sure the disciples did NOT fully understand it – when did they ever fully understand anything?), it is something we must proclaim – we must witness to.
I know that for myself, I need to spend more time next year in preparation for Easter and in contemplation of what this season really means for me and my life. Perhaps there are some ways we can allow for more space and time, especially for our clergy and church staff.
He is risen! He is risen indeed!