Last year around this time, Lutheran Church – Canada posted an Easter mediation on YouTube. The video begins with our President Robert Bugbee standing in the burnt shell of a former church, situated in the midst of a cemetery. Having reflected briefly on the atmosphere of sorrow and destruction surrounding the area, he comments, “You may think it’s very strange that I would bring an Easter greeting to you from a place like this – the middle of a cemetery, in front of a beautiful building that’s burned down and been lost.” But he goes on to explain that good news of Jesus Christ begins in just such a place – “in the middle of a cemetery, you might say.” He reminds us that “Jesus, who really died and was really buried, also really bodily rose from the dead.” Through his sacrifice, our sins are forgiven. And because of that, we can have hope even in the darkest of places – even in the middle of a cemetery.

“Your death doesn’t have to be the end of the line because his death wasn’t the end of the line,” Rev. Bugbee declares. And, while he doesn’t mention this, it’s also interesting to note that the word “cemetery” itself implies that very hope. It comes from the Greek for “sleeping place.” As Daniel writes, the “multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake.” And as Paul explains, Christ is “the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.”

I’m reminded of the words of John Donne: “Death be not proud, though some have called thee mighty and dreadful for thou are not so… One short sleep past, we wake eternally, And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.”

Check out the video below. It’s unfortunate that the creators decided to add some rather unnecessary (and distracting) “special effects” (such as the cartoony flowers, the “ka-ching!” noise, repeating the word “difference”, lense colouring, and so forth). The video would have a much more powerful punch if those effects were dropped. But if you can ignore the “chaff”, as Chaucer would say, you’ll be sure to enjoy the main content, or “fruit”.