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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Because of Love

  The days are leading up to Easter. There is a feel of springtime in the air: gardeners wait for the first signs of new life to pop out of the cold earth; people search for the perfect Easter outfit for church; the stores bustle with shoppers looking for chocolate bunnies, Easter eggs, and Peeps. And yet, I wonder - why all this? Why is Easter reduced to such things as these?
   I ponder the concept of Easter: what is at the heart of this so-called "holiday"? Why does it matter? Why does the idea of a flower rising from the dark ground into full bloom count at all?

  Love. The theme is love, I say. At the center of this thing we call Easter is a re-birth of love. The reason this day matters is because of what it pictures: God chose to love, deeply. He had no reason to. Humanity did not care about Him. We did not wish to love Him back. We would rather choose our own way than His. But...He loved enough to give the best that He had - the gift of Himself. In order to gain the forgiveness which mankind needed - in order to purchase the hope they longed for - in order to embrace the pain of their lost condition - he died. He died because He loved. Had the dying not occurred, there would be no hope. No resurrection. No life.
  Such is the way now: the flower, its seed, must be buried in the ground in order to rise to new life, and I must die, too - must die to myself, to all things selfish, - in order to taste the rising power of Grace. I must die in the darkness of my past before I can experience the re-birth of His love.
  The Easter miracle is that His love wins. No life is too lost, no story too destroyed, that He cannot redeem it. His love makes things new. It has and is making me new even now.
Resurrection happens because love drives it. If God had not cared for mankind, even as we did not care for Him, the world would be destined to nothingness. There would be no meaning. There would be no hope. A choosing-love. This is why the love transforms, heals, restores. Because it chooses to. This is why no human could have accomplished what took place on bloodied beams of wood over 2,000 years ago.
   Wondrous love. On Easter morning, I will rise and sing it with those who celebrate it. I will celebrate the re-birth. I will wait for the new life to come again. Because it is in this renewal, this resurrection of all things dead, that I come to know, for myself, this wondrous Love.