Today I wonder how it is that I know that Easter has arrived. Is it by a day on the calendar? Is it through a liturgy, or by decorations? Is it communicated through a newscast? Is it by a meal, did someone tell me? What is the hint that proclaims Jesus Christ has risen? Is it through scholarship, or theology, or catechism? How do I know?
I know I can read a paper, I have seen Christians in the news. Most recently it was about Christian churches bombed in Egypt. Was that a sign? Are these questions any different from those the first disciples asked after Good Friday? Where is the proof of the risen Lord? There was no advantage for those gospel writers to include the resurrection, and there is no good reason for me to write the same. It gets me nothing. So why believe in a risen Christ?
Today especially it depends on how this Easter is approached, and that is a bit of philosophy. Each person examines this event from a different angle. For some its the science of the day. For others it is religion, others counter-culture. Some want to believe and others simply don’t. People often take sides, to them its personal preference. It’s an answer to a question, often it’s an argument. Religion is a polarizing topic, and this holds true for Easter. Easter isn’t an argument, its an observation. It’s not what one thinks, but what one sees.
Is it acceptable to see Easter as a flicker? A flicker of light in darkness, and then a flicker of darkness illuminated by light. The contrast. A glimmer of good surrounded by evil, and then evil that comes to view through its contrast with good. Light and dark, angel and devil. The gospel accounts talk of seeing angels, and often accompanied by dazzling light. They talk of seeing the risen Lord in flickers, only visible to the disciples. Their eyes were on the lookout and they knew what they were searching for. They were observant, shouldn’t we be the same? They kept their eyes open, and their hearts; even though they did not have a clear expectation. In their darkness (the same darkness that plagues the same region today) they witnessed the flickers of light that made them proclaim Jesus has risen. As they wrote they felt the earth shaken, and their world changed. I wonder if today we can experience the same? A flicker of light in the darkness.