[transcript of video message]
Hallelujah, Christ is risen! He is risen indeed, hallelujah! That is our Easter refrain—full of joy and conviction. But that sure wasn’t the response of Jesus’ disciples on that first Easter morning. The various gospel accounts show the disciples responding with awe, fear, incomprehension, doubt, terror, and amazement. Our response is born of hindsight. Knowing what we now know about how it all turned out, we think of Easter morning and we declare, “Hallelujah!” But when one is in the midst of resurrection, when it is happening to you or around you right now, it’s a very different experience: full of uncertainty, anxiety, dread, and disbelief. Resurrection is, by its very nature, unexpected and unimaginable. We cannot see it coming; we are never prepared for it. It is the revelation of new life where just moments ago there was nothing but the possibility of despair and loss. The hallelujahs we announce at Easter are our affirmation that despite whatever hopelessness threatens to overwhelm us, we trust in the power of God’s love to bring about resurrection within our lives. We don’t know when, we don’t know how, we don’t know what it will look like, and we will certainly be confused and confounded by it if it should happen. But today, our hallelujahs declare that we believe resurrection is possible. And so we do not lose hope, no matter how hopeless a situation appears. This Easter season, as you sing, shout, whisper, and proclaim “Hallelujah!” may it strengthen your faith in the power and possibility of new life for you, your church, and our world. May we truly be a resurrection people.