Truth, truth. It is like a dye, staining every thought I have this weekend. I have scripture ringing in my ears – a lying tongue hates its victims; Proverbs 26. I repeat it to myself, thinking not just of telling lies but of softening truths. It is so easy to sidestep truth, to just assume somebody knows my beliefs and positions and that I don’t need to clarify them.
I never want to present truth unlovingly. It’s the spoonful of sugar with the medicine. But you can’t be nourished on spoonfuls of sugar alone, and that’s the way our culture has leaned. Religion is suddenly acceptable if love is the only real application. But truth and love are inseparable. That is actually my clearest memory from my recent trip to California.
Redwoods are beautiful, don’t misunderstand me! I loved them. But on the way back to the airport, Tiffany reminded me of the absolute vitality of truth. It’s unloving to not speak the truth she said firmly. She’s right. I’ve been mulling over those words since I reached the airport and quietly circled the terminal with hot coffee.
I read a post about celebrating Easter as a millennial who’s left church culture, and the post was about the spirituality (in a loose sense) of the holiday and the beauty of celebrating newness. I love newness and celebration, but the truth of Easter is so much more brutal, so sin-dyed. And it is so much more powerful, beautiful, so earth-shattering light-filled. Easter is the obliteration of our blackest wrongs through brutal death. Earth is the glory of new life where no life was even possible before.
Tiffany was right about truth. To withhold the glorious beauty of Easter and just celebrate newness? That is no kind of love. I do not want to alienate people who are on the fringes of faith and church, but I’m not going to break the truth into pieces we can consume without fear. Truth in love, yes. Half truth, no.
Those are my thoughts on this Saturday of waiting – the day in between death and Resurrection, a grave day of not celebrating, not yet. And this is my invitation to you: celebrate with us tomorrow. Celebrate life and grace and forgiveness, the truth of the holy day.