Church was packed on Easter Sunday, which is always a pleasant sight. Friends and family from afar gathered together in the pews, to glory in the fact that Christ is risen indeed. So many years after the fact, it is easy to discount how palpable the feelings of loss and discovery must have been that first Easter.
To mourn the loss of a dear one so intensely, and then arrive at the grave site a few days later to find it empty, the body seemingly stolen or confiscated.
To sink into renewed depths of despair only to discover that a supposed gardener is in fact the dear one risen, no longer dead, very much alive.
That first Easter was full of heightened emotions as Mary, Martha and the other disciples faced up to the impossible made possible. A couple thousand years later, in packed churches and homes the world over, disciples numbering manyfold millions affirm that He is risen indeed. An affirmation of stedfast belief, made in community, and devoid of palpable emotions.
Time has worked the miracle of the resurrection into the fabric of our lives, into the very tenor of being, generation after generation. The discovery made that first Easter could not but lead to a new hope, of which we are the benefactors, gathering together year after year in large numbers to bear witness.
What was palpable on Easter Sunday was the feeling of community in Christ, and of life eternal with God and in God. It is what binds us together in this time and space, and what binds us to the first disciples, those who awoke in the midst of loss to discover a world radically transformed.
We will continually attest as they did - He is risen indeed.