Life in Community

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Life in Community

What Is Easter All About?

April 15, 2020 by

man in a tree
From his treetop perch, Simon contemplates the meaning of Easter.

Last week I walked past clouds of cherry blossoms, leaping lambs, happy children, and heard wild geese overhead. Somehow when Easter comes, everything else falls away: viruses, mass shootings, politician’s bombast, tensions in the family, conflict with neighbors, anxieties and fears – everything is replaced by Easter joy, Easter hope, Easter freedom!

After the geese, I watched a blacksmith setting up his anvil to shoe the horses. I wondered why he did such a job – dirty, smelly, and poorly paid. I concluded that at some point in life we are overcome by the desire to actually make an honest living. Society constantly hammers the theme of easy money (accumulating wealth that you did not earn), and so we live “lives of quiet desperation”, to quote Thoreau, wondering when and how we will be found out.

So what does that have to do with Easter? It somehow connects, even as I find it hard to express. Perhaps the willingness to sacrifice? The lack of the worry that always comes with the question “what’s in it for me?” Loyalty and faith in the face of pain and hardship? Easter is not special because of a crucifixion; the Romans did this public torture-to-death regularly.

cherry blossom

No, I think Easter is special because Someone endured this torture without succumbing to despair or bitterness. Instead He holds out forgiveness, love and hope to the end. He is absolutely loyal and faithful throughout all the torture and false accusations and rises again, triumphant, to live and reign forever. Perhaps that is what is special about Easter?

After passing the blacksmith, I encounter Dwight, who is a teacher under normal circumstances. He is tearing out invasive vines, chopping away invasive bushes and removing them from around the planted pecan, persimmon, and pawpaw trees. I have seldom seen someone work so hard or so happily, scratched up like a warrior after battle. Work becomes play when there is no pressure. Dwight declined the use of power tools and thus can hear the birds and the far-off sound of children. He can even hear the shouts of jubilation from around the world and through the centuries “Hosanna to the Son of David!” It helps him ignore the thorns.

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About the author

Simon Mercer

Simon Mercer

Simon Mercer is a free-thinking Anabaptist, would-be poet who lives at the Maple Ridge Bruderhof.

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