Easter Reflection: The Long, Hard Slog

7 May 2009

In a brilliant lectionary turn, the Old Testament lessons in the BCP Daily Lectionary (i.e., the daily readings as set forth by the Episcopal Church’s prayer book) describe the time in the desert during this time.  The readings start the week before Holy Week, lay off for Holy Week itself, and are taken up again during Easter Week.

I say this is brilliant because we usually think of Easter as a time of joyful celebration, a season of easing restrictions, a period of wonderful blossoming coinciding with springtime.

Ah, if only it were only so easy.

While the Sunday Gospels this time are either inspiring (apperances of the Risen Jesus) or warm and cuddly (the Good Shepherd gospel), these readings underly that even after the Passover (whether it is the Passover of Our Lord, i.e. Easter, or the first Passover) the reality of our freedom is undeniable, but that doesn’t mean its easy.

The Israelites are complaining, they’re building idols, they’re reveling in pagan ways, they’re afraid, they’re lost, they’re hopeless.

But, of course, within the Christian context these readings simply underscore that although the day-to-day struggles persist, even in Easter, we look forward to the Resurrection after which the long, hard slog slogs no more.

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