Easter and the Three Days

April 18th, 2011

Springtime where I live in Arizona is the most beautiful time of year. The weather is warm, but not too warm. The flowers are blooming and a sense of peace and ease seems to waft through the air. It is a time of new beginnings inviting fresh perspectives and new relationships.

Tomorrow many of us will celebrate Easter. Many people say that Easter is their favorite holiday. Unlike some other holidays the weather is lovely, there are no monetary demands and we are imbued with feelings of promise and hope.

In the Christian tradition, Easter represents a time when Jesus the Christ is crucified and three days later, he rises from the dead. Metaphysically, the three days represent a time of suffering, the unknown, and grief. Not to take anything away from this powerful and sacred story, most of us can relate to what the three-day period represents. Like Mary—Jesus’ mother—we, too, may have suffered the loss of a child, we may have grieved over another type of personal loss, or we may have had another type of a dark night of the soul experience during which we couldn’t see clearly the light on the other side of our grief.

The challenge of the “three days” for many of us is that we forget that there will come a time of renewal. We may have gone through a period of grief before, gotten through it, and our efforts now seem like the work of moments when really it was a painstaking, difficult, and treacherous time for us. Let us remember that we survived and thrived before and we can do it again!

Ultimately, the Easter story is a story of hope and promise. We are reminded of the world outside our temporal experience. We are more than our body, more than this identity, and more even than this life. In the end we will all overcome.

If we know someone who is going through a challenging time, let’s offer to that person the gift of kindness by extending ourselves, telling our story that ended—perhaps impossibly—positively and offering the gift of springtime and Easter: hope!

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