Thursday, April 02, 2015

The Answer is Easter

I have mentioned before that I like evangelical Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California. He's the guy who wrote The Purpose Driven Life and other best-selling books. I don't like his discriminatory take on the LGBTQ community, but I have a feeling that may change. I do appreciate that he has a social conscience and has been active in fighting AIDS in Africa. He got his mega-congregation and others to sponsor churches that were wiped out by Hurricane Katrina until they got back on their feet. Even though Warren prayed at Obama's inauguration and was on the cover of Time magazine he is down-to-earth.
Just after Easter two years ago Rick and his wife lost their son Matthew to suicide. They had done everything possible to get help for Matthew but in the end he took his own life at age twenty-seven. Because Easter moves around from year to year, the anniversary of his death falls on Easter Sunday this year. Warren will lead worship services celebrating the resurrection on a day when they will be grieving as a family. I don't know how he will do it.

This is the way life and death and new life unfold. No script, no promise of happy endings. This year someone who is precious to us is dealing with the final stages of cancer. She is a kind, loving person and as far as we're concerned she is far too young to die. But life isn't fair, although she would tell you that she has loved the life she has lived. She just wishes she would get to see grandchildren and live to old age.

I too will celebrate the resurrection with my congregation,  reminding myself and everyone who will listen that the message of Easter begins with tears and moves to joy. I really wish we could just jump past the tears part, but life doesn't work that way. Rick and Kay Warren will probably weep on April 5th. Still, he will tell the thousands gathered for worship at Saddleback that "the answer is Easter" and I would have to agree. Death is powerful but because of Christ it does not have the final say.



roger said...

A nice blog, David. I especially like your final line.

David Mundy said...

Thanks Roger.