Friday, April 13, 2012

Easter: Wake-Up

In a couple of weeks our high schools will once again sponsor a trip to Florida for the senior class. Almost every senior will attend this class event. Disney's mission statement is simple and straightforward: "Provide People Happiness." In its quest to meet this goal, the Disney corporation focuses all its energies in the realm of fantasy - convincing all that to find happiness involves escaping reality.

When you visit Disney World, its central image is the Castle of Sleeping Beauty. Its soaring storybook towers and turrets preside over the rest of the theme park. Yet unlike all the other Disney attractions it is only a hollow shell - void of content. Except for a few novelty shops, this beautiful symbol of Disney's fantasy world come to life is empty.

But its emptiness is full of meaning. For that is precisely the function of Disney World - to empty us of the harsh realities of life and render us unconscious to the things which are too hard to bear. That is part of the experience of Disney - to become "unconscious" of the real world and to enter a never-never land of fantasy. Fittingly Sleeping Beauty's Castle serves as the portal to this plane.

If Disney entices participants to fall asleep in order to escape life, the Church's mission is to urge people to wake up - in order to experience an authentic and full existence. Easter is a call to all believers announcing the dawning of our new relationship with God through Jesus Christ. This is a radically new reality. The message of Easter wakes us, not just from our slumber, but also calls us forth from tombs of sin to wear robes of righteousness and hope! Easter is not an empty Disney-fantasy. Easter is the transforming power of God shaking each and everyone of us awake to a life in Christ.