Last year, a fig tree was planted outside the kitchen, in memory and honor of Evans Mank. It was a sapling, and it spread leaves, and there were little fruits threatening to become actual fruits. And then the leaves fell off, and the fruits fell off, and the tree looked pretty bad for a while. In fact, it looked pretty dead.
Now, there’s a new fig tree sprouting out from the old one. There are these glorious green stalks that are well-rooted in the older tree, and the leaves are full and vibrant. The old tree is providing structure and protection to the new life that is springing up.
I wanted to share this little Easter story with you. I want to share the big Easter story with you Sunday—and a justice dinner tonight, and bread and wine on Thursday, and the voices of women of color on Friday—but especially Sunday. Easter is the culmination of what we must do as Christians; every other Sunday, every other holy day, every other ethic and moral and step we take comes back to the empty tomb of Christ. Because where there should be rocks and decay, a lifelessness that is inescapable, there is instead the promise of hope, the smell of fresh air, and a God that is capable.
The disciples that first Easter were confused, “for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he MUST rise from the dead.” God loves us because that’s what God must do. Jesus resurrects because that’s what Jesus must do. The Spirit joins us in worship and as a community because that’s what the Spirit must do—not because of obligation, but because of purpose, and presence. Fig trees grow because fig trees grow, as it were.
I look forward to seeing you (and a whole lot of people) Sunday, if not sooner.