Sunday, April 5, 2015
A Resurrected Life
(The Missing Candy)
I like Holy Week, and all the special services that go with it, especially services that reflect the mood of the Passion Week.
I like the candy. At least, some of it. It was a little disappointing this year, I couldn’t find any of those multi-colored oblong hard shell candy eggs with the white stuff inside. I’ve had some of those around every Easter for as far back as I can remember.
Of course, most of all I love the story of the resurrection and the promise of new life that goes with it. After the crucifixion, with the few days in the dark tomb, Jesus burst forth from the grave, boldly proclaiming victory over death demonstrating that even what seems like the end to us here has no power over Christ.
On Easter morning all the pain and sorrow of the Passion was overwhelmed by the glory and wonder of an empty tomb and a risen Savior. Though the wounds were still visible, they were no longer symbols of suffering by symbols of hope and new life, the power to produce pain had succumbed to the resurrection power of God.
For many people who experience divorce, the resurrection story can be a powerful paradigm of the things God has done and can do in their lives as well. Often before a divorce, one or both partners suffers many hurts and attacks, some physical and some not…just as did Jesus. The experience of divorce has much in common with the experience of death. There is great loss and much mourning. A relationship comes to an end, even if ex-spouses continue to maintain cordial contact, the marriage has suffered a tragic end. The time can feel as oppressive and dark as a tomb. But that is not the end of the story.
For many, life post divorce shares some degree of similarity with resurrection. Of course it means starting a new kind of life after years of marriage. But I have often heard individuals mention areas of their lives that they find “resurrected” once on their own…hobbies and interests they had long since forgotten, in some cases a renewed sense of self and of one’s value before God, and for some it is like a second chance, a do-over in which they make new choices perhaps with a new partner and discover a life that they always thought should be, but had never known.
In some cases, the individual may end up in a new relationship in which they experience love like they had never known before. For others, they have a chance to change the course of their lives, perhaps in a new location or a new career. Most of all though, as time passes and the door of divorce’s tomb begins to roll away, one eventually learns that there is, as a friend of mine once mentioned to me, “life after divorce.” The wounds are still there, mostly in one’s heart and memory - but as time passes and the new life emerges, their power gradually diminishes as a fresh hope begins to grow.
Happy Easter to you! May you encounter new life and resurrection at every turn.