In the Godly Play lesson on the church year (Godly Play is a Montessori-based Christian formation curriculum), the storyteller is instructed to explain that Lent is longer than Advent because the mystery of the Resurrection is an even greater mystery than the Incarnation. We need the 5 weeks of Lent and the 50 days of Easter to come close to the mystery of the Resurrection. I return to those instructions every Advent and Lent. I love the idea that our task as Christians during the church year is to “come close” to the big mysteries of our faith. They aren’t puzzles to solve and the goal isn’t to fully grasp or understand the mysteries. We just want to get closer to those mysteries. To sit with them, to reflect on them, to be in their presence.
When I think about what it might look like to sit in the the presence of the mystery of the Resurrection, it becomes obvious to me why we Northern Hemisphere Christians matched our celebration of the Resurrection to dates in the springtime. The season is full of examples of new life where it seemed there was nothing but death. But, of course, it isn’t only the natural world that reminds us that love is stronger than death. I saw a photo of a couple dancing in the midst of the destruction of Ukraine – young people caught in an impossible time, taking a moment to insist that love was greater than the death that surrounds them. And I read a story about a woman who has been wearing the same sweater to the first seder of Passover for 75 years – a hand-knit gift from a fellow concentration camp survivor – both women discovered how stitch by stitch they could hold on to love and beauty in bleak moments.
As you come near the great mystery of the Resurrection, I wonder what it looks like to you. How will you live into the promise that love is stronger than death?
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