In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. [John 1:1-5]
"What has come into being in him was life . . . "
This passage is usually used at Christmas, but it clearly speaks to Easter themes, too. Early Christians, before they were called Christians, were called followers of the Way. Jesus was the way to salvation, to life itself. The experience of those first disciples, as they encountered the resurrected Jesus, upended what the world said of life and death. Death was not the end and would not have the final say.
We who continue, as best we can, to follow after the disciples, after Jesus himself, would say we still find life in this story. Jesus went about the country preaching the Good News that the Reign of God was at hand. In this Reign, captives hear of release and the sick receive health. In many and various ways, we receive the Jesus story as a way to life, new life, abundant life, resurrection life.
Even as I think about all the ways I feel stuck sometimes, all the ways I've felt hopeless in my history, all the ways I saw no way forward, Easter reminds me that there is death, yes, but more importantly resurrection. What is dying is really dying. What is coming to new life is really coming to new life.
I'm reminded how many times this faith has pulled me forward, pulled me up.
Alleluia, Christ is risen. Alleluia, we rise with him to new life.