Old Testament: Exodus 12:1-14 (p) Isaiah 51:9-11
Morning Psalms: Psalms 148, 149, 150
Gospel: John 1:1-18, 20:19-23, Luke 24:13-35
Evening Psalms: Psalms 113, 114
For many centuries, the primary sign of the Resurrection was the Easter Fire. Before lilies, eggs, and butterflies, it was the central symbol of Easter. The Fire was the Light of Christ come into the world, which the darkness cannot overcome.
That’s why we, like so many churches throughout the world, start our celebration of Easter by igniting a bonfire lit in the tomblike darkness and cold of the night. “The light of Christ,” we’ll sing; and then, “Alleluia! Christ is risen!” To which the congregation exclaims, “He is risen indeed!”
But the light of Christ does not just burn in Easter Fire; it burns also in us. So it is that two of the earliest Christ followers comment to each other after walking with Jesus on the road, “Were not our hearts burning within us!” (Luke 24:32)
This is one of the simplest reasons I follow Jesus: He makes my heart burn within me. He consistently helps me see my best and truest self. He reminds me of what life can look like when it is lived well. Though we often think of faith as an intellectual exercise, of believing certain doctrines, I have found it to be a far more visceral thing. It is the passion that bursts into brilliant flame within us, fueling us on, as Jesus calls us into a future of such bright hope and possibility.
Two thousand years after Jesus rose from the dead, the Easter Fire still burns. May it burn in you. May it burn in me.