What’s it all about?

Published 7:01 pm Friday, April 19, 2019

By Nathan Decker

Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truths than lies.”

– Friederick Nietzche

“You know what the problem these days is?”

Recently, my son and I were at a fast food restaurant waiting for our order when the man beside me decided I needed to be his audience. While I didn’t encourage nor answer his question, he proceeded to tell me what was wrong with the world today. He started in on the young people, saying they were weak, needed to experience a beating, and didn’t even know how to climb a tree. When I interjected that my son did climb trees, the man shook his head, “You’re not listening to me.” But I was listening, and he was encouraged by that fact.

He continued to blame Obama, Trump and other recent politicians.

“The system is rigged!”

Then he went on to attack China, Russia and the European Union.

“We’re giving this country away bit by bit and you young people haven’t got a clue.” (Please keep in mind this man looked to be in his 50s and I’m 41.) His next target was immigrants, legal and illegal, followed by how weak we’ve made our military by allowing women in the service. He closed his rant with, “Sorry, I don’t mean to ruin your afternoon, but the world is going to hell in a handbasket and no one seems to care.”

“I care.” I told him, “and in my opinion, God is making things better every day.”

He retorted, “Well, that’s the problem. It’s your opinion, but I’m telling you the truth.”

I picked up my order and left, wishing the man a better day. My son and I had a long conversation afterward dealing with respecting people, listening when it is hard and understanding when people talk just to hear their own voice.

I prayed for the man because he doesn’t seem to have experienced Easter. I prayed for his view of the world, because he described it as one looking through the darkness of death. I prayed for him because instead of seeing resurrection, hope, faith, and love — he saw the grave.

In the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar,” the character Mary and Peter both ask in song, “What’s it all about?” For us as Christians, Easter is what it is all about: The resurrection of Jesus Christ is everything. Easter is the most important holy day because it gives us the vision of hope, the bloom of faith, and the fragrance of love.

The world sees a grave. They see mortality, the end, a void which swallows them up and leaves them powerless, dry and bearing no fruit. They cry into the abyss and the emptiness mockingly chokes their scream. Without Easter, we are alone, unheard and dead.

Thank God for Easter.

We see an empty tomb. We see our mortal lives being transformed into meaning and purpose. We bear fruit. We see the beginning, the sprout from the dead stump that will grow into the Kingdom of God in the wake of this world’s passing. We sing in the sunrise and the echo of our song goes on and on into infinity. With Easter, we are the body of Christ; we are the song of the spirit. With Christ, we rise.

You know what the problem these days is? We aren’t seeing the world through the lens of resurrection. We aren’t seeing the present in the light of Easter morning. He lives. Christ is risen! Let us see the vision of hope, hold the bloom of faith and smell the fragrance of love.

After all, it’s what Jesus would do.

If Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain.”

– Paul writing 1 Corinthians 15:14


NATHAN DECKER is the pastor of High Street United Methodist Church. Contact him at 562-3367.