Easter is a topsy-turvey time. Everything is back-to-front. Suffering brings salvation, death brings life; the established order of things is turned on its head. Yet we spend so much of our time and energy trying to make things work in a world where we believe that death is stronger than life and that despair is greater than hope.
How much of our well-being do we invest in worry? How often does the thing that we fear never actually happen? What about the times when we worry about something we think has happened, only to find out that it didn’t happen after all. How tiring it is to live in a world where God is a footnote rather than the title.
In the last chapter of Luke we read about two of Jesus’ followers. They’re taking a long stroll, discussing the events of the past few days and the rumours of resurrection. Suddenly, they’re joined by a stranger. He’s not really a stranger, but they don’t recognise him because they hadn’t quite joined the topsy-turvey revolution yet. They tell this stranger their story of disappointment. “Jesus has been crucified,” they say, “but we had hoped that he would be one to redeem Israel.”
The two travellers were living under the burden of false disappointment. They thought that their hope was an illusion, when it turned out that it was reality – a reality that was standing right in front of them.
This is the way to live back-to-front in our world, the way to get some of the Easter thinking into our heads. Instead of worrying about things that might never happen, start thinking about all the things that you hope for, and ask yourself if maybe some of them have already happened.