Christ is Risen!

When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality,
then the saying that is written will be fulfilled:
“Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
  “Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?”
-1 Corinthians 15:55-57

“Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!
Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down!
Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is Risen, and life is liberated!”
-St. John Chrysostom, “Easter Homily”, Circa 400 AD.

Christ is Risen!
Christ is Risen indeed!
These words are said at the beginning of every Easter service at Edwards Church. They are known as the Paschal Greeting and are being said all around the world today. In Greece, they say “Christos Anesti, Alithos Anesti”. In Spain and Latin America, ¡Cristo resucitó! ¡En verdad resucitó!,  and in Chinese  耶穌復活了,真的他復活了 (Yēsū fùhuó-le, Zhēnde tā fùhuó-le!)

However we say it, this day connects us to the truth of the Good News of Jesus Christ that calls out to us through the ages. It connects us to a group of scared women who were the first witnesses to the resurrection and left the tomb “sore afraid”, and to whom the men in their lives did not listen.

It connects us to those who are hurting and whose hope for healing seems distant; it connects us to those who are struggling and for whom faith is their last garment of protection against the cold, against cynicism, against despair.

That Christ is Risen means our stories are not done, that God still has more in store for us, even when all seems lost. On this April Fool’s Day, if there is a great joke in Christianity, it is that the forces of evil, disconnection, and isolation think that they have won.

But they haven’t, for Christ is Risen,
Christ is Risen, indeed.

Prayer: Oh Risen Christ, Oh Heavenly God! There are days to mourn, there are days to weep, but today is a day when we are reconciled with you and we can celebrate. Even as we encounter the suffering in this world, we do so with the faith that you are with us. Your holy name be praised on this day and evermore, for Christ is Risen!