In February, I reflected on the coinciding of the secular holiday of Valentine’s Day with the religious holy day of Ash Wednesday. On April 1st, this coincidence happens again! We celebrate Easter on the same day as April Fools’ Day.
Looking at Easter through the lens of April Fools’ is great! Easter is all about that surprise moment that changes everything. The women go to the tomb expecting it to be shut, with a dead body inside. But- surprise! Gotcha! The tomb is wide open, the body is not there! Then the surprise is explained by someone in the know- “Jesus who was crucified has been raised. He is not here!”
Surprise! It’s not a trick that reveals our gullibility, but an unex-pected event that reveals our expectation that death is final. We’re startled to find that death is not the end, but that God’s life is greater than death. God is the one who gives life and healing, and God has the power to do this even when it seems death has won.
The good news, “Christ is Risen!” is meant to change your expec-tations so that you can look and work in the world according to God’s surprising power for life. Live as if the surprise of life and healing was unfolding. Look at broken relationships, bad situa-tions, injustice, poverty, addiction, illness with eyes open to God’s power to surprise with new life and healing. We are called to be fools for Christ, people who have hope in the most difficult of times, people who work against the odds. We know that now and in the time to come God will fully reveal God’s surprise and it will be a new creation in which all is well, death is defeated, and suffering is no more.