It’s been a busy week, and we all know that a week is a long time in politics. Between the US and North Korea and the announcement of a general election in the UK there is a lot going on. And the general mood on the internet seems to be that we have politics-fatigue. Having had our fill of Trump and Brexit the last few months some other news would have been a welcome change, but May’s announcement was not met with much enthusiasm.
Maybe we are still reeling from the dramatic political events of 2016 and the campaigns for both the referendum and for the presidency in the US which seemed to signal a shift in political culture and ushered in an age of alternative facts and alternatives to experts. The result, among many other foreseen and unforeseen outcomes, is a nation punch drunk with politics. And this is fertile breeding ground for cynicism. What’s the point in another election when there is no one worth our vote, and we are all going to hell in a handcart anyway?
This week was also a busy week for Christians as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. The Easter story is one of light out of darkness, love that triumphs over hate and hope that will not be defeated. The story of resurrection is the story of God’s love bringing transformation even when it seemed like the story was over. So whilst I am sick of politics, hate the thought of enduring another campaign and cannot muster up any enthusiasm about putting my cross next to any name on the ballot paper, the events of Easter tell us of the transformation a cross can bring.
There is a great temptation to flounder around feeling hopeless and helpless, but despair is a vice and not a virtue. Our calling is to live as Easter people; to hold on to the hope of transformation. However messed up and frustrating the political situation – or any other situation seems – faith, hope and love remain.
The empty tomb that Mary and the other women found on the first Easter morning might not seem like it has a lot to do with turning out to vote when you would rather turn off the TV and pretend none of it is happening, but that’s kind of what the women did. Jesus who they loved had been defeated, humiliated. He had brought them all to a place of danger, let them down, and it was over. There was nothing to show up for after his crucifixion, it would have been safer to hide away. But they showed up anyway to anoint the body of Jesus who they loved. They showed up to carry out their duty towards their deceased friend. They showed up to make him fit for death after his degrading execution. They showed up and discovered transformation, enduring hope and inextinguishable love. They found out that it all still mattered.
The resurrection didn’t bring perfect justice to every situation on earth. It didn’t make people consider the common good in all of their actions or desire peace or love their neighbours as themselves. But it did mean that all of those things are a real possibility. When other things come to an end, faith, hope and love remain and the promise of that transformation is worth showing up for.