The Easter Mysteries
From next Sunday's pew bulletin ...
It is an ancient Christian tradition to speak about the ‘Easter mysteries’. We can trace this language right back to the beginnings of Christianity where we find Paul using the language of ‘mystery’ (mystērion in the Greek) to speak about salvation.
To the modern ear that sounds like a puzzle, something for a clever detective to solve. But that is not the meaning of this word when it is used in the Bible or in the life of the Church.
Within the Christian tradition, to describe the events of Easter as a ‘mystery’ is not to ask for the myth busters team to arrive and explain just how it all happened. Rather, we are affirming that although this is not something we could ever have imagined, the events of Easter were known to God from the beginning of time.
We might be taken by surprise, but God was not. She never is.
The resurrection of Jesus was something new, but it was not a surprise. It had been in the heart of God since the beginning of time, and even before then. From eternity.
This is new creation, not resuscitation; a new beginning, not simply a press of the reset button.
Words fail us, as they should when we think about life and existence. It is all miracle. Existence need not have been. But it is. And for that we are grateful even if the miracle of existence is mostly taken for granted. It is so familiar we mostly fail to discern the miracle.
This Easter Day we notice the miracle and we celebrate the mystery of it all.
God is among us. Emmanuel. Christ is risen. Alleluia.