In the battle of Waterloo, the faith of modern Europe was being shaped. The army of the United Kingdom was facing the French army under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte. People in England were anxiously awaiting news of the outcome from the battleground. A signalman was stationed on top of the Winchester Cathedral with specific instructions to observe the sea for any approaching ship signaling the outcome of the battle. In his turn, he had to pass the message on to another man on a hill. That man had to pass it on to another, and so on. That way, the news would travel more than seventy miles to London and then all across Britain.
Finally, a ship was spotted emerging from the fog covering the horizon as far as the eye can see. The signalman on board sent the first word – Wellington, then the second word – defeated. Then the thick cloud of fog covered the ship. “Wellington defeated!” The tragic message spread all across England, the gloom of heartbreak and disappointment descended over the countryside. In a few hours, when the fog lifted from the English Channel, the messenger ship sent the message again – Wellington defeated the enemy! This time a very different type of message was being spread, one that was lifting hearts and giving hope.
The disciples and followers of our Lord experienced something very similar. After witnessing Christ being betrayed by one of his own, humiliated, tortured and killed, they probably concluded that there was no justice in this world. They probably thought that God forgot about them and assumed all hope was gone. But then they were surprised and shocked by the unexpected news of the resurrection. Not only their friend, beloved teacher and Lord was not dead, but he defeated death and destroyed its chains of fear and darkness holding humanity captive. Their whole life was changed in a split second when they encountered and embraced the Resurrection perspective on life.
There are points and times in our lives when we too, lose our way. Times when we lose hope, get tired and exhausted from trying, praying but not hearing back from God, hoping and dreaming for a better and brighter tomorrow but never experience our dreams come true. Such turning points in life tend to either draw us near God or repel and move us away from the faith. In such moments of life God appears distant and disconnected from everything that goes on in our lives. Like the disciples, we too might give in to fear, assume that all hope is lost, that our troubles and dreams are too small and insignificant for God to ever bother intervening, or we might embrace the Resurrection perspective on life.
The Resurrection perspective on life gives hope, strengthens us and reminds us that no matter how big and great our troubles and shortcomings might be, nothing is impossible for God. The Resurrection perspective on life unceasingly and tirelessly reminds us that where we see no solution and remedy in sight, God sees an opportunity and new beginning. The Resurrection perspective on life is an invitation for us to reflect on how we were created to live and experience joy and peace that are not of this world, but found only through and within Christ. The Resurrection perspective on life is an encouragement for us to pause, notice, accept and embrace the fact that in this life or after we are not alone. We are never abandoned, not powerless, helpless or hopeless because the life-giving Lord, who defeated death, is with us always, to whom glory and dominion now and forever, amen.