Do you know about Easter Eggs? I don’t mean the kind stuffed full of candy and spare change hidden in the yard for the kids to find. I mean the hidden, unexpected features hidden in movies or video games as a surprise to viewers. For instance, every Pixar film has the red, yellow, and blue ball from Toy Story hidden somewhere in it. Stan Lee makes an appearance in every Marvel movie. Google often has hidden bonuses- if you type “do a barrel roll” into Google, it looks like your whole page is flipping over.
Once a fan learns to expect Easter Eggs, they start to look for them. The more they look, the easier it is to get to find them.
That sort of Easter Egg sounds an awful lot like the Resurrection. The gospels tell us stories of many friends of Jesus who just couldn’t recognize the risen Jesus simply because they weren’t looking for him. Mary Magdalene thought he was a gardener until he called her name. Clopas thought he was a stranger until he broke bread and shared it. Peter and John thought he was just some guy until he told them where to catch a boatload of fish.
Once they started to notice that he was acting just like he always had, they recognized Jesus no problem. Of course Jesus would instruct them where to catch the best fish. Of course Jesus would break bread and share it with his friends. Of course Jesus would call his friend by name. It’s so obvious that you wonder how they missed him in the first place. In fairness to them, they were sure Jesus was dead when he showed up.
We do know better, but even so, we can be oblivious to signs of resurrection around us. My news lately has been so full of death that I sometimes wonder if we’re going to miss the resurrection this year. Is Easter canceled along with book club? Is it Good Friday forever, with no resurrection in sight?
We see what we look for. If you look for death and loss, you will find it. Easily, these days. If you look for resurrection, hope, and life? You’ll find that, too. You might recognize it in the way neighbors are taking care of one another. You might see it in the greening of creation as the seasons change. You might find it in a deep belly laugh at a silly joke. You might feel it in the refreshment of a good nap.
Resurrection, like our God, is relentless in loving and looking for us. This Easter, look around and see where you find new life. The more you look, the easier it is to find it. Resurrection will be there, like Easter Eggs, just waiting for you to notice.
God of resurrection, open my eyes to your work. Show me new life and refresh me in your love. On Easter and every day, let me look and see your resurrection power in action. I ask this through Jesus Christ, who rose from the dead and now lives and reigns forever with the Father and Holy Spirit, one God. Amen.
Happy Easter and God bless you!