Comment: The mystery of Easter




The Ancient Greeks were famous for their education and wisdom, yet their knowledge didn’t close their minds to things which couldn’t be explained. My guess is that they would have had a mixture of influences, would probably be superstitious, and would need a bit more information when someone started talking about faith. They were real people living in a real world, yet they were very comfortable with mystery when it came to beliefs.

I think today’s generally post-faith society is similar. Many would have us believe that everything can be explained by science. Yet running alongside that is considerable interest in all things mysterious. Just look at all the fantasy TV programmes and films focussing on futuristic space exploration or the supernatural. And all those blockbuster films like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia. There is a massive interest in and acceptance of things we can’t fully understand and which stretch the imagination. We shouldn’t be too quick to condemn this. Maybe we have tried to take the mystery out of our world and lost that sense of awe and wonder as a result.

Personally, I don’t need to have a rational or scientific explanation for everything. I’m very happy for there to be a sense of mystery especially in the area of beliefs. The origins of Easter are surrounded by controversy and shrouded in mystery. The story goes that God, in his wisdom, sent his son into our world as a vulnerable baby. The boy grew to become an apprentice in his father’s carpentry business. In his late twenties he set off on foot travelling through villages and towns sharing his thinking about life and faith. Not everyone liked it and it all ended up in a cruel death. But then, a mystery. Sightings of him alive again. A disputed resurrection somehow changed the lives and beliefs of a small number of people who went on to influence the lives of countless others around the world.

Perhaps we all struggle to accept things that are beyond our understanding and beyond our control, but maybe in those moments all we can do is stand in awe and accept it as an unfathomable mystery.

Main photo credit: Aaron Burden via Unsplash

Bob Fraser

Bob Fraser is a singer-songwriter, men’s group leader and Regional Director for CVM aiming to open up conversations about life and faith.

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