And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
This is Noah. When I tacked up my horse to ride a few weeks ago, he had not arrived into the world. So I rode, then untacked and brushed my horse, then wandered into the paddock to offer my help…and lo, an hour later, Noah was in the world.
A new life suddenly appeared.
Like much of what suddenly seems to appear in our lives, Noah had been gestating for some time. New things born into our lives usually gestate. They are nurtured and grow in a deeply safe place until God deems them time to be born.
And suddenly we are presented with this new thing.
The Gospels love the use of the word “suddenly.” Mary was minding her own business and suddenly the Angel Gabriel shares news with her of who will be gestating within her, waiting to be born. The shepherds are minding their own business, and suddenly the angels appear to them, sharing the news of who has just been born into the world. And the angel again shares with the women at the tomb who as been suddenly resurrected. “He is not here. He is risen, just as he said.”
And suddenly something new is born, and life is forever changed.
Easter is a suddenly event. We suddenly have a completely new understanding of life and death. Death is not the end. Life, love, and God have the more to say. Always.
Our temptation is to stop at the suddenly moment. Yay! Easter has been born! Christ is risen. Now, time to make the doughnuts.
Except in doing that, we ignore the new life that has been born into our lives. The suddenly moment of Easter has born into creation a new understanding of life. This new life, this new truth will grow, will change our lives, and will shift us from old ways and habits into new experiences. God, it seems, is suddenly present and expects to stay around in our lives.
Noah, the suddenly present colt, is growing. A colt who could barely stand (the picture is of his first steps, which were awkward and unsure at best) is now a colt who races around the meadow with his mother chasing him because, well, that’s what moms do. He will continue to grow and become.
Easter is an event. We celebrate the gestation of it through Lent, shout “Alleluia!” on Easter Sunday, and recognize the truth of the power of the continuing truth that changes us with its presence for 50 days and beyond.
The birth of Jesus in in our lives calls us into change, just as it did to Mary, Joseph,the shepherds, and all creation thousands of years ago. The birth of the Resurrected Jesus asks if we will nurture this new thing suddenly appearing as it grows and changes us each day, each moment as its present in our lives.
What has been unexpectedly (or maybe not so unexpectedly) born into your life recently? How has it changed you? How has it deepened your relationship with God, challenged you into more profound experiences of love, reconciliation, forgiveness, and faith?