Bells ring and trumpets sound and hymns are sung today in ways that happen only once each year. This Easter day dawns with shouts of “Al-le-lu-ia!” “He is risen!” “He is risen indeed!”
Part of the wonder for me about this day, is that for generations what we have been celebrating is an empty tomb. It is in our not -seeing that we discover and rediscover the core of what we believe. Our story tells us that on Friday, Jesus was crucified on the cross. Friends took him down, washed him and buried him in a borrowed tomb. And when that was done, his friends left. Defeated, in anguish. They left. The story tells us that on Sunday morning women returned with flowers, to grieve and comfort one another. When they arrived they found the tomb empty. Whispers turned to shouts turned to laughter and to song, “Jesus the Christ has risen from death,” they proclaimed.
Love wins. Death is not the final answer. Life goes on.
I believe this to be true. Can’t prove it, don’t understand it, and yet I believe it to be true. I believe that it was true then and is true now. Our lives go on somehow - in our stories and our remembering and they continue in some form of energy. My image is not a picture of pearly gates and long, white robes. That I can’t imagine. I do, though believe that life follows death. I do believe that love is greater than any fear that exists. I do believe that that love wins. Each and every time.
This morning our choir is singing a wonderful song, “A Repeating Alleluia” by Calvin Hampton. We sing only one word: "Alleluia." And we sing it over and over and over again. This song is a weaving together of three melodies that pass in and around one another and can (possibly) continue indefinitely. In rehearsals we sing it through twice, one time we let it circle round us three times. It’s fun to sing, and a gracious thing to imagine. What if from this day on - we, you and I choose to repeat Easter Sunday's Alleluia - over and over and over again? Til we can sing no more. What if our deeds follow our singing and we then come to live and move and have our being in a resounding, circular song of “Alleluia”?
Easter welcomes us into what can be next. What was lost can now be found. What was broken, mended. What was wounded can be tended to with great care and can even be healed. Easter invites us to believe, as if for the first time that death is not the end. Love wins. He is risen! He is risen indeed. Alleluia.
Working in Family Experience at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Lesley is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. She and her partner, Linda Ellis are raising their two sons, Brogan (now a freshman at Guilford College) and Sam at sophomore at DHS in Decatur, GA.