It’s way too early to celebrate Easter Sunday. On the other hand, if every Sunday’s worship remembers this central event in Jesus’ life, then Easter-inspired ideas and emotions could also be embedded in Yuletide celebrations. Then Christmas is also “Alleluia!” time.
The evidence to the contrary seems strong right now—self-serving impulses driving the false promise of materialism; COVID’s grip tightening; anger-merchants raking in attention and cash; spiritual, physical and mental health at low ebbs.
Still, it feels like the way of Jesus is upward bound. That his example and teachings are ascendant, perhaps invisibly so. I don’t think I’m being delusional. (Sometimes that’s an undeserving criticism of those of us who are older.) Instead, I’ve learned to trust my intuition, honed over many decades of Easter and Christmas celebrations. That sixth sense tells me that, alongside the stark signs of personal and societal collapse, the magma of righteousness is building, growing in power and waiting for the right time to erupt and flow into the world as rivers of red-hot lava. Searing the landscape, but also eventually creating rich new soil, new terrains, new environments.
What gives rise to my Advent/Christmas inklings? The constant emergence of stories about good people—God’s people included—who continue to care for others, give sacrificially of their resources, stubbornly resist evil and call for repentance. Leaders who don’t relent to angry, fearful mobs. Congregations whose commitment to mission still warms the world. Determined families who hold society together by their work and witness.
The Babe is about to be born. In time, this infant will change the world—defeating evil and death by his Resurrection. We follow his way, reason enough to trill and shout our hope on Christmas and every other day: “He is rising indeed!”
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