Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter, 2010

Greetings, Friends,
True confession time – I almost decided not to create an Easter greeting this year. As you read the words below you’ll better understand why. But I have and here ‘tis.

Imagine if you will (To borrow from Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone) it’s the day after Jesus has gone missing. We come upon two chaps making “small talk” …

Chap 1: Hey, how about that Resurrection. Talk about your disappearing acts. Man, he really is “outasight”. (Chuckles)
Chap 2: Well, you know what they say – You can’t keep a good Messiah down. I was just …  (We interrupt this crass frivolity to bring you the following --)

I doubt seriously if the above conversation would have taken place. After all it’s not everyday that someone is believed to have risen from the dead. And it certainly would not be cause for sophomoric humor – or would it? It may well be that for some Easter is in fact a joke – a joke played on the whole human race by … well meaning fanatics?

Well, friends it’s no joke to me, especially this Easter. I told you it was hard to sit down and write something and it has been. The death of someone who fought with all his being to stay alive, to triumph, only to be forced to succumb to cancer makes the idea of resurrection something a hell of lot more than merely an idea. To be blunt – if Jesus didn’t get raised from the dead and it’s all a sad cosmic joke then God is not only a trickster and liar but worse – he provides false hopes.

Being as candid as I know how I have to say the temptation to go that route of cynicism was strong in the face of the injustice of the death of a young man. A young man not yet 19 who should have had his whole life before him. However most of us who have lived any years at all and have weathered the many seasons of life know about injustice and absurdity and loss. And it never gets easier to take, either.

Now at this point those of you who have a ready response to why and how and what regarding the workings of God have my permission to keep those things to yourself. They don’t do a damn thing for a broken heart – they really can’t. Do you suspect that Jesus felt any better knowing that it was God’s will that he die on a cross? I don’t think so. Feelings are just that – they don’t respond well to “chapter and verse”.

So what to make of all my rambling and grumbling --- it’s simply this. I can’t speak for anyone else nor do I want to but I’ve decided I will go ahead and believe anyhow. I’m going to be damned stubborn about it too. There’s an almost angry kind of resolve building in my gut about my faith. A sort of “I don’t care if the whole Resurrection seems like a fairy tale. By God (and I mean it literally) I’m going to believe it to be so. And if it’s not then I guess I’m an idiot, not sophisticated enough to rely strictly on my intellect. But tell me when you come up on tragedy do you truly want to rely on yourself as God for comfort, for peace, for hope? I don’t and I won’t. Moreover I don’t have to – but then neither does anyone else. All you have to do is believe the impossible. Now how hard could that be?

It might help to remember that saying we all learned years ago -- “With God nothing is impossible” I’m going to believe it and I’m counting on it this Easter.

George Gagliardi, Easter 2010