Here’s the thing about the Resurrection.
It signaled a difference between what had come before and what would come next.
To the ones who were there… the ones who had walked with Him for years before that specific Passover… it seemed pretty clear. Probably, to them, they remembered the things he had said to them in public and private. Things about the big changes that were coming. And then, when the nails were driven and the bleak reality was made clear, everything changed.
Suddenly, the lives they had been living before became irrelevant. Now they were living in a new time.
The memory of the way things had been before was attractive. It was familiar. It was what we would have wanted.
But they couldn’t go back to that.
We can’t go back to that.
We’re experiencing something similar now.
We want things to be like they were. We want today to be like yesterday to be like last week to be like last year.
But it can’t be.
It won’t be.
Everything has changed. And we have to come to terms with that.
We aren’t going back to what was. We are moving forward to what will be.
We want things to return to normal, but they can’t. They won’t. What was normal has been relegated to our memory. What will be normal has become our future.
It’s not all bad. There’s a lot about our past that needed to be put to pasture. There’s so much pain and heartbreak and suffering and injustice that existed back then. It needs to be in our past. It needs to be a memory.
But our future… our who we will be…
That’s totally on us. And this weekend… this celebration of resurrection… this is when we need to start choosing who we will be. How will the “us” moving forward be different than the “us” a few weeks ago? How will the me moving forward be different than the me a few weeks ago?
Resurrection has not – in my lifetime – meant more than it means today.
Arundhati Roy: ‘The pandemic is a portal’;
Whatever it is, coronavirus has made the mighty kneel and brought the world to a halt like nothing else could. Our minds are still racing back and forth, longing for a return to “normality”, trying to stitch our future to our past and refusing to acknowledge the rupture. But the rupture exists. And in the midst of this terrible despair, it offers us a chance to rethink the doomsday machine we have built for ourselves. Nothing could be worse than a return to normality.
Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.
We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world.