This week, my son told his virtual preschool class:
“Easter is for us to remember that Jesus died and came back to life. So we celebrate Easter to remember that when we die, after we’re done dying, we won’t ever die again.”
My son, he worries about death. Since he was much smaller than he is now, he has asked me with urgency and pleading if death is the end. And I tell him that we hope not – that we don’t really know, that none of us can really know, but we hope for something better. Already he has learned to rush past the pain – “But Mama, Jesus will make us alive again, right??”
We hope so, Baby.
I do not find comfort in the language of certainty. All I can do is hope. Nor does the Jesus story make up a core tenant of my faith; as a myth, it does not often speak to my soul. But it’s one I know well, and it is the faith of my family and my people, and so I observe Lent and Easter and Christmas. When I pray, I end in Jesus’ name.
This year Easter comes on the eve of the biggest wave of death in our generation. My Jewish neighbors are observing Passover; they are remembering the destroying angel that passed them by, and the plagues that did not. This is a story that feels more relevant. I am praying, too, that we will be delivered. We are in hiding, protecting instead of our beloved firstborn son, our long-awaited unborn daughter.
When I was young, I thought that faith was a fire in my belly that made me untouchable. I would walk into school like I was going to Carthage, and faith would protect me from all the things there that were familiar and threatening. But I don’t think faith protects us anymore.
We stand at the edge of a storm; around us, healthy people will soon be sick and dying. On my counter, the dough is rising for the hot cross buns. Outside, the sun is shining and the crocuses are blooming. Spring is here, and death awaits. The Destroying Angel is riding in the wind, and we don’t know where she will strike next. But Jesus is risen, and there is lamb’s blood above our doors and hand sanitizer just inside. We hope; we are diligent and we hope.
He is Risen, indeed. Next year, in Jerusalem.
You son is a deep thinker.
May you all be well. Thank you for your honesty.
Oh this is lovely. Thank you! “But Jesus is risen, and there is lamb’s blood above our doors and hand sanitizer just inside. We hope; we are diligent and we hope. “
I love this. And I have definitely thought about procuring a firstborn lamb during all of this, just in case.