Transitions in life abound. From the giggles of preschool to the steady structure of kindergartens, change is essential in the parcel of life. There is movement from one stage to another: relationships, careers, locations, income, health and family. And at times, these overlapping strengths have tsunami proportions. Overwhelming and sometimes unpredictable, they wipe away what is familiar and comforting. We stand alone in that moment.
WE stand alone. The gift is not the agony of that, but the reality that others have stood here, have known the messiness as well as the beauty of transitions. Opportunity and possibility dwell in that very moment. Ironically, to be alone is to be part of the “we”. And the Easter story dramatically demonstrates that.
To stand before the empty tomb as Mary Magdalene did in her search for Jesus, is to stand on the edge of that transition. To see the skepticism of her report, to realize others cannot grasp the story is part of transition. And then, at Emamus, to sit and realize, in the breaking of the bread, that Jesus is alive, that was transition for the apostles. It is stransition for today as well.
Easter is not confined to a moment or to history; Easter is alive in each expereince of transition. It holds hope and promise in the chaos of great waves of change, and it offers the sense that there is so much more to life than what is anticipated or known.
Easter provides a pattern for living life’s transitions. It is the promise that something greater awaits, and each of us, no matter how humble, no matter how lost or broken, belongs to that moment. It provides the embrace that love transcends all else, and most importantly, that can be re-visited, re-learned, more deeply understood, at every phase of life. And so the transitions continue.
It is about realizing that how transitions are lived, chosen or not, opens up new story lines. But of course, it all requires Magdaelne’s breathless look in the tomb, that moment of discovery that things are not at all as they seem. It requires that grappling with new realities, the hard work of deciding what to believe and proceed.
Easter is about multiple transitions, and it is about openness to the graces of the very real challenges that present each day. It is the promise that no transition needs to be faced alone.