For the original Christians, Easter with its eternal and sober rhythm of Death – Waiting – Resurrection far outweighed Christmas in the liturgical year. Many days I truly believe our Christian forebearers held it right – that the learning and lessons from Easter far outweigh the learning from Christmas.
We know this. Rare weeks do we not hear of someone entering their own private “Easter.” Cancer, divorce, addiction, financial pains – the list goes on. And yet that should not leave us in despair. Easter instead leaves us with hope, leaving us literally in hope.
The hope is not a perfect solution, a “rescue.” (With a smile, Jesus dies.). Instead, the hope centers around “love stretching into the future” as Miroslav Volf phrased it. A place opens where faith becomes true faith.
From Father Richard Rohr….
Faith, as we see in the Hebrew scriptures and Jesus’ usage of them, is much closer to our words “trust” or “confidence” than it is about believing doctrines to be true. Simply believing doctrines demands almost no ego surrender or real change of the small self.
Holding confidence (1) that God is good, (2) God can be trusted, and (3) that God is actively involved in my life is a much more powerful and effective practice. This is the practical power of biblical faith. Faith-filled people are, quite simply, usable for larger purposes because they live in and listen to a much larger self, embedded within a much larger picture.
So, what can we do when Easter is nearby? We can place our faith where it needs to be placed. And we can care.
All spiritual truths focus on caring as their fundamental principle and their aim.
The teachings of the church are pointless unless they have caring as their goal.
(New Jerusalem, and Its Heavenly Doctrine 106.)
That is, maybe, God’s holding of us in hard times.