I’m feeling a little defensive! I know the church celebrates Easter for eight days. My encounter with the Risen One isn’t happening in church. In the past I would have dutifully prayed with the Scriptures assigned for each day of the week in the Lectionary. No more! Regulars here may recognize that this week I could be accused of giving more credence to Earth Day than to Easter. They would be right!
I shouldn’t feel defensive! My Ignatian roots compel me to “Find God in all things.” Christian faith is all about “sacraments” – outward tangible signs, gestures and “stuff” that manifest grace. Earlier this week I referenced the Genesis creation accounts and recalled that Christians profess faith in One so intimate with creation that God becomes incarnate in Jesus to bring all creation to fulfillment in Christ. If any Scripture resonates through my ecological Easter it is Ephesians 8:19-24:
Creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed…. that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.
I guess I’m in good company. Dejected disciples recognized Christ on their trek back home to Emmaus and in the act of sharing bread. The great apostle Paul encountered the Risen One en route to Damascus. Thomas and the rest of the gang come to Easter faith hidden away behind locked doors. And the very first among them all, Mary of Magdala thought she was seeing the gardener.
Why would it be any different for us? As the angel said to those coming to the tomb, “He is not here! He is Risen.” Why do I feel defensive about One who is out and about, showing up in places and with folks we wouldn’t expect (or maybe even approve of), in places we would least expect but where we need Him most!