Our Easter services yesterday were joyous. We came together to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and the good news of great joy that sin and death do not have the last word, that life and love win in the end. During our services, I anointed people with holy oil and blessed them, saying, “Remember that love is stronger than death, and to God’s love you are returning.” By the time I got home, I was tired but happy. It had been a good week.
But events immediately called into question that good feeling and that good news. Also yesterday, many Christians and others died in a series of bomb attacks in Sri Lanka. The Christians were killed while at worship. My newspaper quoted an understandably shocked and outraged Archbishop of Colombo calling on the government of Sri Lanka “to ‘mercilessly’ punish those responsible ‘because only animals can behave like that.’” It is hard to blame the Archbishop. And yet it is difficult to imagine Jesus saying the same.
And so I find myself back in the great Christian paradox. We believe in resurrection. Unfortunately, resurrection only comes after crucifixion. Terrible things happen. And we continue to hope and to pray that God brings good out of the awfulness somehow.
I pray for the people of Sri Lanka. I pray for the people of Paris who had to watch their cathedral burn last week. I pray for the members of the Black Churches burned by an arsonist in Louisiana who had to celebrate Easter elsewhere this year. I pray for all the victims of all the horrible things that happen. And I continue to pray that life and love win in the end, that resurrection is the final word, that Easter reveals the deepest truth of our world even when that truth is buried beneath a lot of awfulness.
In the name of our risen Lord. Amen.
 Bharatha Mallawarachi and Krishan Francis, “Bomb blasts kill more than 200,” Daily Hampshire Gazette, April 22, 2019.