There is a scene in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland where Alice eats a mushroom and grows to enormous proportions. She out grows her bed, and bedroom. She must get on her knees so as not to hit her head on the ceiling. Her arms get stretched out the windows. She doesn’t fit her world anymore. It’s too small for her.
Silly as it sounds that image keeps coming to me as we think about the great mystery of Christ’s Resurrection. This world is too small to fit our hope.
Here’s what I mean. Prior to Christ being raised up to the life of the Resurrection this world was all we knew. You were born. You grew up and did a bunch of things (it really didn’t matter what you did). And you died. Everything was all part of the giant wheel of life. Spring to summer, summer to fall, fall to winter and then it starts all over again.
We all fit into the ever repeating pattern of nature – – birth to death. Like a giant Etcha A Sketch nature would lift the page and our scribblings would be lost . . . forever. The best we could hope for was a good growing season, a healthy baby, a little comfort in our last years.
The best pre-scientific minds reflected this static, never changing universe. The sky was thought to be a giant dome (think Sky Dome in New Orleans). The stars were stuck into the dome like spot lights. Each day, the biggest light, the sun, followed a path etched in the dome. As the Book of Ecclesiastes tells us “What has been, that will be; what has been done that will be done. There is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9
That all changed when God sent his son into nature (space and time). Jesus, by virtue of who he is (God in human flesh), removed the dome over the earth and opened the night sky to the infinite reaches of the galaxies. No longer are we humans caught on the mindless, ever turning wheel of life. No longer are we like leaves that bloom in spring and return to the earth each autumn.
We are Children of God. God, who Jesus tells us to call “Father”. We now have reason to hope for a life that unites us to God forever in Jesus Christ. Without this hope were stuck in Alice’s tiny house. “If for this life only we have hoped in Christ . . . we are the most pitiable of people.” 1 Cor. 15:19.
Christ has freed us from the Eternal Return that held us captive and so now “we look forward to the Resurrection of the Dead and the life of the world to come.” The Creed.
Still we live in time. There’s not enough it seems. We run out of it. We come to our end. Jesus died, so do we. This fact has not changed.
But . . . as the women at the tomb tell us today, HE IS RISEN! God is not defeated by death. He lives in Eternal Life. And He’s coming to get you. Christ wants us to be with him. Why? Because he love us. Why does He love us? Because that’s how God is.
Oh Lord, increase my faith. Please say “yes” to Christ’s love.
Once again, happy Easter.