Linda Osuagwu Onyinyechi

 

    THE RISING

Its Easter time! Therefore a time for a little break from all those works to be done at the workplaces, all the paperwork piled up to be done in the office, calm our heads from all the “yes sir’s and Ma’s”, from jumping into the traffic just to meet up with the job schedules. Its rest time for all in general and Christians in particular, a time to travel, meet up with loved ones, compose those good worthwhile messages to send across to loved ones, all bearing the central message of ‘Christ has risen from the dead’. I know that feeling (smiles). I was talking to a friend of mine who is tucked away at the northern part of Nigeria in the service of her fatherland (NYSC) and she was always quick to say “God, I really miss home and can’t wait to be back this Easter”. I am pretty sure that she amongst many others, have savored the thoughts of the chicken, the rice and the scintillating cold drink that would wash ‘this festival of sweetness’ down the gullet to the restful stomach, in merriment of the season, and found the idea of homecoming simply irresistible.

 

In the memorial of the Easter season, all over the world, we are greeted with the celebration of the king that was slain, arisen and have ascended, a celebration of ‘He who came’ and ‘is to come’, a celebration of ‘he that is’ and ‘always will be’. The flashy clothes, the several beautiful selfies that dot our Facebook pages, Instagram walls, and other social media handles, all wide echoes of hurrays for Christ is risen! The vibrancy from the pulpit, and the sober reflection that greets the audience, all great ingredients of the Easter tides. However, for how long and how true are we going to sincerely stay true to the tenets of the gospel of Christ on this Easter? A gospel of love in its purest form.

 

Of a truth, what more can describe the message of Easter if not love? How more can one say Easter, if not saying love? In what way can one define Easter without defining love? Little wonder that Love is the greatest gift of all. If only we can look at how love can be so pure, so true, so honest, so deep that it can only be sacrificial and it can only be Christ, only then would we realize that we are worth more than riches. Indeed Christ is love. For there is no love greater than to die for the wrongs of another. Imagine these scenarios in our today’s world; that a man consents to die for a debt that he did not owe just so the debtor can walk debt-free. How can we make sense that a person was insulted for the offences of others just so the other can be a free born?  How possible is it to make sense of loving others and caring about them, even while aware that one of them, (people whom you called family), would betray you for a paltry, tinnie-winnie sum (at least betrayal should be more expensive) and yet you stay, cut the loaf of bread and still give to him, and still loved him the same, nothing changing? How can you make sense of knowing that the one you call ‘my very own’ would deny you thrice in public when it mattered, and yet you love him all the same? In what way can it be said to make sense that people came to smuggle you at night for committing no crime, and yet you offered no resistance neither did you demand any explanation, but rather resisted the acts of defense put up by your loyalist? Who does that? (I know the name you just called, that’s the name I called too and it isn’t yours) As though that was not enough, you healed their wounds. How can you say it makes sense? It cannot, and never can make sense in our self-context, but it all makes sense in Christ and with Christ. It can only make sense with his kind of friendship, his kind of aura and his kind of love, and that’s why we have Easter.

 

The message of Easter ushers us into a realm of victory, a realm of freedom and a realm of redemption, through the ultimate sacrifice of death and resurrection. For in Christ there is no bondage of the past. In our society today, where there is ethnic, religious and tribal fallouts, the message of Easters unites us by reminding us that there are no slaves, nor outcasts nor outlaws, no stratification in the eyes of God, that all are one, and that the Samaritan woman was no outcast, and he was delighted to drink from her cup. A message of love and life which showed us that for us to live well is to live for others, being thoughtful to the emotions and yearnings of another. But in our very ways, we overwhelm ourselves in dining eating, gulping wine, literally living in his victory, and then the question is, how have we lived practically in his victory?

 

In this time, let’s just take a look at the street, at the child with a plate, running after cars under the harsh sun for a little denomination to feed for the day. Let’s look the way of that woman who dresses the same, too silent to ask for help, and who goes trying to earn rather than beg by knocking on gates asking for the grasses to cut, the flowers to be trimmed, the lawn to be mowed, the compound to be swept just for a little domination of the currency to afford a meal. Easter is the time to take a little pause to show love to someone out there, and be kinder. Kinder in our actions, kinder in our words, kinder in our thoughts. Let’s give the humanity in us a voice by being sensitive to the plight of others and the surroundings we inhabit. The pertinence of the birth and resurrection is not streamlined nor knitted in just a day, it should be a lifelong reminder.

 

As we rise above with him, let the message of Easter renew us and challenge us to bear in mind the price that was paid and how much we are worth. Let’s exemplify this love that still walks the earth, for Christ is risen, he is with us and he is love. Happy Easter season to you.

 

Linda Osuagwu Onyinyechi is a practicing lawyer, a writer and a passionate poet who has great yearnings to improve the society through her vocation and write-ups. She is a disciple of social engineering and an advocate of peace.

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