They're right. Every year, Easter flies in the face of all kinds of crappy news. Every April knows terror and death, which hides the resurrection beneath the grief and pain of this world.
Today Boston is on lock down and West, Texas is flattened. The media leads us in a fruitless crusade to oversimplify people and motives and fear. It's exhausting... even from way over here in Minnesota.
Speaking of Minnesota, it's covered in snow. It's snowed a few times since Easter morning - since I had Zion's marquee sign to read, "Spring is here! Christ is risen!" Neighbors must think the latter is a joke, too.
The truth is, we struggle through spring as both physical and spiritual people. It's hard to lean into the tangible truth about an empty tomb. We have trumpets and streamers and breakfast together for one day. But now what? What does Easter mean for tomorrow?
People are still underemployed. Stillborn babies are missing from a hospital. Rosie's bronchitis is back. Warren checked himself into rehab again. April showers are having their way with Zion's wimpy gutters. A nineteen year old kid has the whole world holding its breath.
Preachers spend the season of Easter trying to show people why the empty tomb makes any difference at all. We point to the new promises we've been swept into. We rip the burial cloths off of the pain and defeat our people feel quietly - the secrets that haunt them in the pews:
A fear of worthlessness.
The lack of purpose.
Monotony and mediocrity.
Pain that has no words or diagnosis.
Everything is the same, but everything is different, too.
If you listen carefully, you can hear the tulips waiting here in Minnesota. They are drinking deeply from each melt and they are trembling with excitement as days grow longer. While we slumber, stir, and throw snowballs - still people of the slushy mess - the tulips prepare to preach that same Word.
Rise, people of God - the Son is here.
There is more light than darkness.
The good is sneaking through.