Father Chuck Files: Do You Believe the Easter Story?

We are still early in Lent but I am looking down the road towards Easter. My thoughts have been peaked by someone asking me to write about those who doubt everything about God and Easter.

One of my childhood heroes was Bob Hazeltine. Bob was a crusty, old coalminer. His mine was a family owned business in an area dominated by much larger operations. Bob ‘s mine employed himself and a trusty old mule. I was fascinated by his stories not only of the mining business but of his worldly experiences.

As a young boy, I remember a conversation with Bob. He told me that when he was younger he thought the existence of Europe was an outright lie. He found it difficult to believe that anything existed beyond the borders of the United States. But early in 1919, he received orders to report to the military and had the opportunity to experience Europe first hand courtesy of WWI. It became real and if I recall correctly, he told me that he wouldn’t have believed it, if he hadn’t seen it.

As I like to tell people, I believe in the product that I sell. I believe the Easter story. My sermons on Easter over the years have included emerging butterflies from the cocoon, the budding of snow drop flowers, and the return of the robins. But these really don’t measure up, do they? Sometimes, I think that we modern people flatter ourselves with our intelligence.

The people who walked alongside of Jesus knew the difference between a good story and an account of what really happened. And many didn’t know what to make of the Easter event. When they claimed that Jesus had risen they were suspected of either being fools, drunk, or both. I believe that this is what Paul might call a “stumbling block.”

Do you have doubts about the truth that lies in Easter? Who doesn’t? Are you baffled and are struggling to understand? If I read the Gospel accounts of that first Easter correctly, then you aren’t alone. Those faithful men and women who walked with Jesus had similar reactions. They were confused, afraid, and didn’t understand. Easter may challenge the way you look at the world around you. It may be hard to explain but make no doubt about it. It is a mystery that just can’t be explained. But know this, it is true! He Lives!

 

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