We all lament changing time, loss of time, time that seems to pass at an ever-increasing pace. There never seems to be enough of it, and we feel anxiety at the thought of running out of it. We even change it seasonally to suit some arbitrary need. How we choose to think about time can literally affect how we live.
Within my faith tradition, the Easter story and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, changed time. Yes, history was impacted by this event and the calendar most of us share became dated by this event, but I mean something more as well.
For Jesus’ early followers, his death was a devastation, and the empty tomb incomprehensible. Biblical stories tell us that fear and confusion kept many of his apostles silent until Jesus showed himself to them again, not resuscitated, but transformed. Difficulty in understanding the significance of the event is evident throughout Christian history and remains a struggle today. St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), an early church leader, expressed the challenge facing any who wished to believe “If you understood him, it would not be God.”
We all live our lives through stories that we use to define ourselves and our convictions. The Easter story has had incredible resilience through centuries and across cultures for reasons not bound by the ability to comprehend the inexplicable. Choosing to believe that suffering and death are not the last words profoundly changes how I think about time.