Recently I watched for a second time the Cotton Patch Gospel. It’s a musical play that retells the Gospels of Matthew and John in southern style. The story takes place in the cities of Atlanta, Valdosta and Gainesville, Georgia. The music is toe-tappin, hand-clappin music written by the late Harry Chapin.
As I watched, I was struck by the words that Jesus proclaims on the Resurrection-“It Worked!” These words might seem very trite, but they were very profound for me. They summed up the whole of the Paschal Mystery. They tell the amazing story of Holy Week that brings us to the resurrection and the Easter season. All of the suffering and dying that Jesus experienced takes on meaning in the resurrection. Through the death and resurrection of Christ we too find new life. And through our own suffering and little deaths we too experience resurrection.
It might be waiting for the right job to come along if we are unemployed. Or perhaps, we come through an illness or surgery and find good health again. Or maybe a relationship is healed by our courage to talk through the difficulties with someone. All of this works as we cooperate with grace and the strength and power of God in our lives. Jesus had to surrender His will to the Father’s will in the agony of the garden. Through His openness to that will, He suffered much for each one of us. And by being obedient to God’s will he comes to experience the resurrection.
We too are asked at different times in our life to surrender to God’s will for us. It may not always be what we want or hoped for. But it is in the letting go, in the surrendering, that we too can experience new life. Sometimes God’s plans for us are much better than our own plans.
What is it that God wants to give to you in the joy of this Easter season? Can you surrender to God’s will for you, so that you too can experience the joy and happiness of the resurrection. And then maybe you can say with the “Jesus” figure in the Cotton Patch Gospel, “It Worked!” If we have the trust and confidence in God’s plan for us, maybe much more would work in our lives, as we do our part and leave the rest to God and cooperate with His grace. Let us all be Easter people as we share what has worked in our lives because of Christ who we have put our hope, trust and belief in.