Happy Easter, dear reader! Yesterday was the day in which we open up our Alleluias and it was different than any other Easter we have every experienced. Yesterday, instead of a new Easter dress I donned my rainbow Jesus shirt and put in my headphones so I could spend time watching online worship. Instead of a big meal with friends and family we had an intimate meal and then zoomed with family. Instead of watching the kids run around the yard searching for the eggs, I got up and hid chocolate eggs for Ana because there needed to be some finding of eggs.
Perhaps it didn’t feel like the normal Easter and yet we got a chance yesterday to get a little closer to the intimacy of Easter. The day of Easter began in the dark. Mary went to the tomb the first moment after Sabbath that she could. She went to care for her chosen family. She went to mourn and to be present in the stillness of death. She went because she didn’t know what else to do. Things are born in the dark. Tombs, wombs, cocoons, are all in the dark. They are where mystery happens and new life emerges, every time.
Then Jesus responds in a most intimate way by saying her name in John’s Gospel. He says hey in Matthew. It is an intimate greeting of one who knows the other. Our friends and family call us by our first name. They may even have a nickname for us that signals to us the intimacy and known nature of the moment. Jesus says her name and she knows him. It is out of context, she is distraught, he is dirty from his own tomb. He looks different from what he has been through and she probably does too.
This year seems closer to that moment, the intimacy of that moment between Mary and Jesus. It isn’t full of trumpets or our finest clothes but it is full of possibility and of what will emerge out of the dark of this Great Pause.
Easter is a season of 50 days and perhaps it will take us at least that long to know what that means for us and to celebrate it this year. So many of us weren’t ready to leave Lent yet and yet Easter, in its story form, doesn’t start out with bright colors and celebrations yet either…that happens after 50 days in Pentecost when the wind and flames appear. At first, Easter should start off quiet, intimate, dark, full of possibility but also some fear of what in the world is happening.
Blessed Easter to you. May it be a full season of what is to come and may it be as intimate as the risen one saying your name.