The Deepest Mystery, the Highest Hope

Written By Douglass M. Bailey

In that wonderful Academy Award-winning film Shakespeare in Love, there is a funny and recurring line from one of the characters. He seems to be responsible for producing the play that Will Shakespeare is struggling to write. At numerous points in the story, people demand of the producer how the play will unfold and end. His consistent reply, with a hilariously funny gesture, is, "I don't know. It's a mystery!"

Therein is a great line for Easter. And, it's a good line for the story of your life and mine. How will it unfold? How will it end? Will there be a new beginning? "I don't know. It's a mystery!"

Good Friday declares that Jesus died, brutally and lonely. The Gospel writers seem preoccupied with his crucifixion. Events surrounding Jesus' trial and execution constitute almost 60 percent of the Gospel story. The record is clear. We profess it in our creeds. Jesus died. And one day or night, so will we.

Then, in the words of that great African-American poem by James Weldon Johnson, "Then comes that great gittin' up mornin'." Then comes Easter. He is alive again. "Alleluia! He is risen!" Whereas the details of Christ's death are vivid and descriptive, the details of his Easter are shadowed, sketchy, limited. "It's a mystery." But, it's the deepest and most true of all mysteries.

On this we bet our lives: "Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again, within our life. In Christ, we are risen." Yes, it's a deep but glorious mystery. And, our highest hope! "Let us keep the Feast. Alleluia!"

Copyright © Calvary Episcopal Church