I’ve been reading a lot about the importance of narrative and how narrative shapes our identity as individuals and as cultures. Narratives may be based on real events or they may be completely fictional — what matters is how we interact with them.
We are in the midst of the Easter season and for me as a Christian the meaning of the Easter narrative is clear — God’s love and abundance will overcome all evil, suffering, and pain. I believe that God became one with us, that God became a particular human person at a particular moment in human history — we know this person as Jesus. His world was difficult, especially for Jews, and because of his authenticity and willingness to speak truth to power, he was put to death. Yet, the narrative does not end here – if it did, nobody would even remember Jesus’ name. No, instead, Jesus rose from the dead, not to die again, but to live forever. The Easter story is a story of hope born of suffering; of hope born of powerlessness; of hope overcoming oppression.
I pray during this season that all people — Christians, non-Christians, atheists, spiritual seekers, those who don’t know and those who don’t care — can find in this narrative a message of hope. Even if you don’t believe that Jesus was God, even if you don’t believe that Jesus died and rose from the dead, I pray this narrative will invite you to ponder the meaning of hope. I pray that you will find the tender sprouts of hope in your life, in your relationships, and in your work.