An Explosion of Joy
Joy is on my mind this Easter season. I’m still running on the momentum of a joyful Easter weekend, of a Saturday evening vigil service that, in its second year, continues to grow as a major event for the cathedral. The Sunday morning Easter services were glorious and filled with hope. The early spring weather is a gift as well, and the next big thing in the life of our diocese – the ordination and consecration of a bishop coadjutor on April 29 – promises to be a joyful and spirit-filled experience for all of us.
Joy is something that runs deeper than festivals and milestones, though. It’s something that comes when we can completely set aside the burdens of this world – sometimes even for just a short moment – and remember that God’s love is what gives us life and sustains us. For some joy just comes naturally: this tends to be the case for the very young and, occasionally, for the very old, when either surprises of life or the perspective of wisdom and time give us eyes to take in the joy and filter out the things that would distract us from it.
For the rest of us, joy is still there but tends to come after experiencing some hardship. We don’t have to die to know the taste and experience of death: the loss of loved ones, the reversals of fortunes, the pain of going through life and being human. So many of us get lost in the struggles, through no fault of our own: the burdens of life are painful and real and they can completely overwhelm us.
Yet the resurrection has something not only to teach us, but to show us: there is life on the other side of death, and that life is something even richer than what we have known thus far. The realization that accompanies the resurrection – the “explosion of joy” that I spoke of in my Easter homily – is the gift of Easter we all carry away from the empty tomb. This is what joy actually is, and any moment where we feel that joy is one when we remember, even for a split second, that all things God created are moving not towards an ending, but towards infinite new beginnings.
May this Easter season be one of joy, blessing, and perfect rest in the love of God!
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