April 18, 2022
Filed In: Philosophy
Easter is here and the tomb is empty. The timing of Easter this year was prescient. In my listening to the “Bible in a Year” podcast, I lined up exactly with the events of Holy Week. The same went for my daughter’s Bible curriculum. For her school work, we read a story and the next day she narrates the story and draws a picture. In her telling, Jesus was hiding behind a tree, waiting for Mary Magdalene to show up. The image she drew of Jesus lying in wait was amusing.
Now that we’re into the Easter season and our Lenten practices are over, it’s time for an annual reminder about the point of what we just did. Lent, Holy Week, and Easter are only the beginning. They’re the keys that unlock the true freedom of Christian life. They’re the exercises and disciplines that draw us into our call to constant conversion.
Fasting from sweets, your snooze button, or meat on Fridays is the first step. It’s the introduction to the discipline of fasting. Fasting isn’t giving something up, it’s raising our awareness. Many vices aren’t driven by a desire to do evil, but a reaction to some negative event in your life. Drinking to excess may be covering up deep emotional wounds. Impatience behind the wheel may be about allowing too many pressures to build up in your life. When we give something up, we have an opportunity to be curious about what’s really going on in our lives.
Our successes and failures this Lent are another part of our journey. The Christian Life is anything but boring, and answering Jesus’ call to pick up our cross and follow him is the work of each day. But when we’ve completed our trek to the top of the hill, the place of the skull, what waits for us is not public humiliation and complete destruction. What waits for those who answer the call is the ultimate victory.