Thoughts on Easter: the central feast of Christianity! The reason and the center of our faith

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We celebrate the resurrection of our Lord. In the Easter Vigil, we sing joyfully and probably with all our hearts: Hallelujah, death is conquered. Christ is risen! When the burning Easter candle is carried into the darkness of the church, there is no doubt, Jesus lives! Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?
But how is it when death meets us in real life?
Of course, death involves grief because death is always pain, loss, and horror.
Although we are aware that death is part of life, confronting it is a situation that questions everything.
In an African story, it is said:
“God had an important message for the people. As a messenger, he chose the chameleon because of its prudence
and reliability.

The message was: ‘Life is God’s gift; death is part of it.’
The lizard happened to be nearby, heard it and ran to the village, gathered all the people, climbed up the tree in the middle of the marketplace and proclaimed the important message of God. ‘Life is gift of God,’ she said. The second part had slipped her mind quickly, and she added: ‘After death, everything is over.’
Meanwhile, the chameleon also arrived and climbed the tree.
Important message from God, this time correct: ‘Life is God’s gift; death is part of it.’
People finally didn’t know who to believe anymore. Since then, some believe death is the end of everything, and those who are convinced that death is the door to life with God.

The story has a clear message: either—or!
Death is the seriousness of faith. Either way, with death, everything is over. Or death is the door to life with God.
There is no middle way, as it is heard in today’s mainstream:

Something will come or continue to live in the tree, be buried in the forest, live on in the children, or go back to Mother Nature and enter into the great cosmos.
When we celebrate Easter, that is, the resurrection of Jesus, it means that we believe death is the door to life with God. We are convinced that in death, man encounters God, and life begins in the face of God. Bishop Stecher says: “As believers, we know that beyond the grave, our life begins. The Risen Lord will lead us into the dazzling light of the Triune God.”
This conviction does not take away the pain and the sorrow but the sting.
Those who know in faith about the joy of heaven can sing hallelujah not only at Easter but also at the tomb of their loved ones and, despite the pain, do not have to mourn like those who have no hope.

In death, it is not the number of years of life that counts; in the end, it is not our opinion or our feeling: much too early or if it is finally over.
What counts in death is arriving at the goal of life because death is not just the end of life.
Death is the end of earthly life, the heavenly encounter with God, the risen being resurrected, and the beginning of the new eternal life.
I wish for all of us that we sing the Easter songs not only at Easter but that the celebration of the Easter days will permeate our daily lives, even in the face of real death, and that it will shape and carry us.

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