Easter Reflections

Easter comes as late as it possibly can this year. Back in 325, the Church held a massive gathering of bishops to settle
doctrinal disputes, establish an orthodox creed, and handle other issues facing the Church. This gathering wrote and
confirmed the Nicene Creed, one of the greatest statements of faith ever written. They also set the formula for how we know when to celebrate Easter—ready?—
Easter shall be the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal (spring) equinox.
Got that?
Believe it or not, they were trying to match Easter perfectly with the Jewish celebration of Passover. Remember, all four gospels agree that the Passion happened during Passover, with the Lord’s Supper being the ultimate revision and reformation of the Passover meal with Jesus himself taking the place of the Passover lamb. To help us understand that substitution, note that the Passover lamb was seen as a sacrifice that took the place of Israel, a lamb whose blood protected them from the Angel of Death that passed through Egypt. After that, pharaoh released the Israelites and Moses led them
toward the Promised Land. Just so, Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, leading us into the hope of resurrection and the ultimate Promised Land of the kingdom of God.
That is a hope the world sorely needs right now. Watching the horror of war unfold over the internet, darkness is instantaneously and pervasively unleashed upon us. We need the enfolding grace of Christ to keep us from the being
overwhelmed. The Ukrainians need the enfolding grace of Christ to keep them alive. We all need the grace to
consider and reconsider who we are in the world as it is. We need that promise of new life, new hope, and a new way
of being.
Assurance comes in simply standing beneath that full moon. Its light bathes us in the reflected glory of the sun, inviting us to pull back, to see the world through the eyes of God, the pristine marble hanging in space with room for all of us, and all of us being the beloved children of God.
Use the words of the great Easter announcement—
He is not here; He is risen! to resonate through you. Allow the simple joy of that affirmation to brighten your spirit, lift your heart, and perhaps even lead you to sing. The Lamb of God has taken away the sins of the world, eradicating the great chasm between ourselves and God. There is hope. There is possibility.
There is life.