I had a post planned this morning which, in light of reading Michael Coren's post on Easter, I have opted to postpone until later.
This column ran in all Sun newspapers across Canada. Here is the entire post:
I also strongly encourage you to watch this video of similar material from Michael: The meaning of Easter.The meaning of Easter
The belief that life without suffering is possible if we behave in a certain way is a lie
I remember when my mother had her most serious stroke. She’d suffered numerous smaller attacks in the past, but these had affected her mind and not her body. I fed her, put her to bed and played the role of parent that mum played so beautifully to me.
It was extraordinarily painful because my father had died three years earlier, but mum, already seriously ill, was largely unaware of what was going on. We couldn’t share the grief with her and this made the experience all the more biting.
Dad died alone, something for which I have been unable to forgive myself. I arrived too late and I am convinced that he was holding on to see me. He was such a strong man, and I am so very weak. My indecision was dreadful and my father deserved better.
I say all of this because it is Easter, the epicentre of the Christian calendar. The agony and death of Jesus followed by his resurrection.
We live in an age when the government and the culture tell us that life without suffering might be possible if we behave in a certain way. It’s a cumbersome lie. Bad things happen.
We all die, and many in discomfort. Jesus died in absolute agony. Then rose again in absolute perfection. The same is offered us, and we commemorate his sacrifice and that offer on Easter weekend.
As a direct consequence of this, those of us who are believers are asked why bad things happen to good people, as if this is some threatening dent in the Christian faith. Our reply should be to ask, why on earth would bad things not happen to good people? Christ didn’t promise a good life but a perfect eternity.
Indeed in some ways the Bible predicts earthly suffering more than it does earthly triumph. Which is one of the reasons why alleged Christians who promise instant solutions are not to be believed.
Miracles do occur, but they are no more proof of God than failures to heal are proof of his non-existence. Many are the saints who spent their lives in physically broken bodies or in mental struggle.
This is vital to understand if we are to understand Easter. Modern cults offer a grand variety of solutions to life’s problems and promise avenues to happiness. They don’t last, just as none of the other cults lasted. The New Age is merely a redecorated old age. The most glamorous of them all, hedonism, always hurts the most when it fails to produce. We obsess about materialism, sexuality, physical beauty and ambition. Then find the guarantee of satisfaction was hellishly fraudulent. The pain is not pointless. It has purpose and meaning. Nor is it without end.
Mum and dad, and so many others, will be complete in the glory of heaven, where we shall celebrate the rising of Jesus in a diamond-like and never-ending Easter Sunday.
For all of you, and in many ways especially the mockers, the ones who pretend to laugh when in fact they are rather frightened, those who disguise their fear and insecurity behind anger, I pray the same.
Have not a happy but a meaningful Easter.