Sunday is Easter, the holiest day in the Christian year. Everybody makes a bigger deal of Christmas, what with Santa and presents and all, but Easter is a much bigger deal.
That’s because what really lies at the heart of Christianity is faith, and believing in the resurrection of Jesus is entirely about faith. If you have it, you believe it happened. If you don’t really believe it, then you don’t really have faith.
I’m not going to get into my own beliefs at this moment, but I do want to say a thing or two about faith and hope, particularly right now. I figure that the story of Jesus is really a story about the importance of faith, and so, whether this particular one is your faith or not, the important thing is to have it at all.
We all have to have faith, when we wake up every day, that today could be a good day. We have to have faith that today could be better than tomorrow. We have to have faith that better times lie ahead. Without that faith, what are we to do? aTrudge through life until we finally get to die?
It’s been a very difficult year, one of the toughest in a century at least. More than a half million Americans died in a viral pandemic, the worst one since 1918. That, combined with the measures intended to control the virus, decimated the economy and isolated us from one another. Losses are nearly immeasurable.
We were at each other’s throats in a presidential election year like no other. Goons carrying the Confederate battle flag were wandering the halls of Congress, bashing in windows.
Our health, our livelihoods and even our democracy have been threatened and damaged.
And yet we move forward with faith. We believe we can do better. We believe we can beat the disease, and we can improve the economy, and we can work together to fix a badly warped political system.
We believe this because we’re Americans, and we are still a land of opportunity, and the greatest nation in the history of the world. We have faith in ourselves, and, to a greater or lesser degree, faith in one another.
The Christian faith is that, even after he was betrayed, sentenced, and executed by nailing him to a cross and watching him suffer in agony for six hours, Jesus still arose, and forgave it all.
That’s what Easter Sunday is about. Rising from the dead, yes. But, more importantly, about the faith that such a resurrection is possible.