“He is risen!”

“He is risen, indeed!”



A member of my esteemed staff gave me an interesting book for Christmas: “Silence: A Christian History.” I’ve been reading it slowly (even silently?), making my way through it for a couple months now.


As I get older, I’m drawn to silence in ways that were formerly alien to me. I don’t claim to be an expert on the attitudinal changes that accompany aging, nor am I convinced we all age in similar ways, but for me, at least, silence has become more important as I’ve aged.


But Easter doesn’t seem to be an occasion for silence. Easter seems to be an occasion for noisy celebration – even raucous noise-making!


There was a day (the day we call Palm Sunday) when Jesus was challenged about the noisy adulation his followers offered him. He famously responded, “If they were silent….the stones would cry out!”


If that was true before his death and resurrection, then how much more after he encountered death and lived again to offer death-defeating hope to all who follow him?

I do like quiet…but not so much on Easter. On Easter I want the organ and trumpets to roar (or the praise band….that’d be good, too!) and I want to be confronted with a story that makes me shake my head in wonderment and imagine that mortality doesn’t get the last word. That hopeless causes can triumph! That injustice doesn’t always or ultimately prevail! I want my discouraged and cynical instincts to be shaken to the core and be confronted with possibilities too astounding to be real….and to be told they ARE real!!


There are times for silence…but not this time. So on Sunday…when the worship leader asserts, “He is risen!” please shout back, “He is risen, indeed!” And then open your mind to the impossible….for Easter is nothing if not the message that even the impossible can (and does!) happen!



Rich Pleva
Conference Minister
UCC in Iowa

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