Macalester Easter

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Easter was very different for me this year. My parents were in Illinois getting their new place ready, brother was in Boston, and it was the first Easter for Chris and I as married people. I’ve also been feeling spiritually adrift, so it was hard to feel any real joy when reading the dozens of Easter posts on Facebook. I was conflicted about my lack of feeling all day as we waited to go to Macalester to have an Easter service and dinner with Macalester people.

Mac Christian Fellowship is run by a lot of my closest Macalester friends, who are some of the best people I know. They are passionate, independent, ambitious, and compassionate. The service was designed and carried out entirely by students. Wholly of their own accord, students came to reflect on the death and resurrection of Christ, and share a meal that was open to anyone in the Mac community, Christian or not.

Macalester has been labeled as one of the most liberal and aggressively “unreligious” campuses in the country for decades. It was described as “godless” in an article about the school. When I transferred from a conservative evangelical school to Mac, I had people chuckle about the great difference between the schools as well as express an admiration for my bravery to stand right in the middle of the battlefield. The funny thing is none of the Christians I know at Mac consider the college the enemy. Instead of pushing back against the school’s values, Christian students are constantly finding ways to work with the community and use the tools the school provides to fulfill the Christian mission. Because they often feel like the minority, Christian students never engage in the kind of aggressive ideological or theological division that is so common in churches, and it’s not like every Macalester student is politically liberal either. There are differences within the community, but fighting one another about it simply isn’t important when the world at large so desperately needs love. God has a way of making His presence most obvious in a place that is “godless.” 

There were Scripture readings, singing, and testimonials at the service. People shared about how difficult it can be to transition from Good Friday – the darkest day in Christian history – to an Easter mindset – the most joyous day. Life weighs us down and injustice wrecks havoc seemingly unchecked, a thing Mac students are so painfully and keenly aware of. The theme I took away from the service was hope. The death of Christ represented, as my best friend Erin put it, “not only the lack of hope, but the betrayal of hope,” and Easter represents the rebirth and fulfillment of a new hope, a hope no one saw coming, through the resurrection of Jesus. Towards the end of the service, we were invited to call out something that we saw as hopeless, and to all respond to it by saying, “There is hope indeed.”

Disease.

There is hope indeed.

Depression.

There is hope indeed.

Pollution.

There is hope indeed.

Violence.

There is hope indeed.

Ukraine.

There is hope indeed.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Macalester Easter

  1. This is a really good, thoughtful post. It sounds like the day got better for you after you attended the Easter service. As a Christian, I appreciate what Easter means to us, but I often wonder if I had been alive when Christ died if I would have had any hope. Would my faith have been strong enough to watch Him be buried and still believe that He was the Son of God?

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