Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 • Isaiah 65:17-25 • 1 Corinthians 15:19-26 or Acts 10:34-43 • Luke 24:1-12
“O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!” (Ps. 118:1)
“He is not here, but has risen.” (Luke 24:5b)
Love wins! When Jesus Christ is raised from the dead, love wins. God’s love wins.
The world and its ways conspired to kill love, tried to kill hope, tried to kill faith—tried to breed hatred, despair, and distrust, tried to usurp love by stoking the fires of fear. But they failed. They failed because they did not count on love going so far as to accept and even embrace death. The world and its ways discounted God—discounted God’s love and the way of God’s world. On Easter, Jesus is raised from the dead, and God’s astonishing love wins.
No one can take away from or diminish God’s love. Even the most shameful dying and death by crucifixion could not do that. And ironically, it led God to show just how potent this love is. Death could not contain it; shame could not contain it; hatred and violence could not contain it. Love wins. And this love is so amazing that when God raised Jesus from the dead, he transformed death. He took it into himself and changed it. He took away its terror. Death is no longer the end. Death still is, but love wins.
And, God’s love keeps winning. We only have to look at history: the ending of legalized slavery; the commitment to equality for all; the creation of mechanisms for pursuing peace that supplant the winner-dictates-all approach. We see St. Paul, Dorothy Day, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Martin Luther King, Jr., those who believed with heart, soul, and body that love wins. God wants us to share this love so that others may share in this great abundance of love and life.
Christ is risen. Love wins! Alleluia!
—The Rev. Heather Warren