“We realize the importance of light when we see darkness.” Malala Yousafzai
“… out of darkness into light.” I Peter 2.9 NCV
Remember the old TV show “The A-Team?” George Peppard headed a team of ultra-talented, albeit misguided, group of “heroes” that went around saving everyday people from powerful and malevolent villains. Many of us still recall the words of the charming leader of the group who was fond of saying—always in the midst of utter chaos—“I love it when a plan comes together.”
I think we remember that quote because it is so often true in real life. Just when everything appears to have “gone to hell in a hand basket,” victory somehow emerges. We see it in sports regularly. One team seems hopeless as time is running out and then comes off with a “miracle play” for a shocking victory.
For those of us in the Christian tradition we have a word for that: Gospel, which translated literally means “good news.”
During the two days preceding the shocking events of Easter, the entire community of friends and followers of Jesus wept and mourned the execution of their leader. All hope seemed abandoned and glorious expectations were shattered. The beauty of belief quickly soured into dismal despair.
Darkness fell abruptly on a land of optimistic light. The world they knew and the one they anticipated died quickly with the death of their leader.
We all know the celebrated end of this story.
But what does Easter mean in today’s world of troubling darkness? A world in which all of us are forced to deal with national strife, international threats, families in chaos, and personal friends either sick or experiencing difficult times. Is there any hope for light in this world of darkness?
I shout a resounding, Yes!
Except… the light may not shine precisely in the ways we are hoping. Darkness falls upon all equally. Trouble is not discriminatory. But neither is hope.
Easter does indeed come with a promise of hope over the long haul. The end of days will not be the end of days in God’s economy of grace. And even in the midst of the most difficult of times, we can still love and be loved. We can “do justice, love mercy, and tread humbly before our God.”
Yes, out of darkness a light has shined. And continues to shine in our hearts today.
This Easter and Every Day that Follows
Photo courtesy of offeekai at istockphoto