Today a large portion of the Christian world is celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Orthodox Christians use a different church calendar than Roman Catholics and Protestants. They also speak about the resurrection a bit differently too.
Orthodox Christians have many traditions and ceremonies surrounding the celebration of the resurrection of Christ that are different from Christians in Roman Catholic and Protestant traditions. One of my favorite traditions is the greeting passed between believers on “Easter” morning. It goes like this:
Christian #1: Christ is risen!
Christian #2: Indeed, Christ is risen!
In English and American evangelical circles, we don’t do this. Our “Easter” morning greeting usually goes like this:
Christian #1: Happy Easter!
Christian #2: Happy Easter!
And then, we tell the kids to go find their colored eggs and not to each too much of the chocolate bunny that we gave them or they’ll get sick before church.
The word Easter has proto-Germanic language origins. It is related to the name of the goddess of fertility and spring.
The Russian writer Leo Tolstoy wrote about the futility that he felt living apart from the reality of the resurrection.
My question – that which at the age of fifty brought me to the verge of suicide – was the simplest of questions, lying in the soul of every man … a question without the answer to which one cannot live. It was ‘What will come of what I am doing today or tomorrow? What will come of my whole life? Why should I live, why wish for anything, or do anything?’ It can also be expressed thus: Is there any meaning in my life that the inevitable death awaiting me does not destroy?”– Leo Tolstoy, A Confession
There was no single event in the history of the world more significant than the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. It showed that there was more to this world, more to this life of struggle and pain. It proved that the death of our physical bodies would not be the end. Reality is more.
The truth is that living in reality is much more than chasing after colored eggs, gorging on chocolate bunnies and making sure that the kids don’t get sick. And its not just answering your Christian friends and family:
“Indeed, Christ is risen.”
Living in reality is living in the reality that Christ is risen, indeed!