The Lord Is Risen!

Another pandemic Easter has come and gone. Although we had expected and hoped, a year ago, that things would be closer to normal this time around, we still watched our church's Holy Week and Easter services on YouTube instead of attending in person. Our festive dinner was just the two of us, without guests.

The last time we had guests for Easter dinner, one of them gave us these hyacinths.

We also weren't expecting last year at this time that there would be several effective COVID-19 vaccines and that over a quarter of the US population would have received at least their first dose. So, while new diagnoses seem to be trending upward again after dropping from their post-winter-holiday peak, we're still starting to feel a lot more optimistic. We were able to participate in an outdoor Easter communion service with people from our church, and although the two of us are still opting to avoid in-person indoor church services, they are available now for those of our congregation who feel comfortable attending (the fully vaccinated, for instance).

Kristin didn't get much Easter chocolate growing up, as her parents had decided that a giant magical rabbit delivering candy to children was too far removed from the true spirit of Easter, and anything related to the Easter Bunny tradition best avoided. Unlike some parents, Christian and otherwise, they were not especially concerned that encouraging belief in Santa Claus might teach children it was okay to lie, so Kristin and her siblings did not have to forego Christmas stockings. Trick-or-treating on Halloween was initially avoided when they lived in a community where there were other Christian parents who shared their concerns about it (paganism!), but permitted after they moved to an area where all the other kids except the Jehovah's Witnesses were allowed to participate. (Donald and his sisters got Santa, Easter egg hunts, and trick-or-treating. Not that Kristin is bitter or anything.)

Kristin is making up for lost time in the Easter chocolate department.

Spend much time online around Christian geeks, and sooner or later you'll come across an impassioned debate about whether it's okay to let your kids celebrate Halloween and/or believe in Santa Claus. And by "impassioned" we mean "comparable in civility to disagreements about masking and COVID lockdowns." Maybe it's not so surprising when you think about the role that observing special days and seasons together has always played in building and strengthening human communities, but it's hard to imagine anyone ever changing their mind after one of these "discussions."

Of course, identifying and shunning outsiders and dissidents also has a long-established role in the development of human cultures. But Easter calls us to a different way. Do your good deeds in secret to avoid being praised for them. Don't obsess over what other people are doing wrong. Become friends with the people of whom your peers disapprove. Resist the temptation to make judgments about who doesn't belong, because you might find yourself excluded on the same basis you've used to exclude others. Follow the example of the one who let himself be executed for someone else's insurrection, because he knew that all unjust verdicts would ultimately be overturned, and that Death wouldn't have the last word.

It's a message that we find ourselves trying to hold onto more than ever right now. 

Happy Easter! He is risen indeed.


A week from today, on April 12th, Stephen Case reviews C.L. Clark's new military fantasy, The Unbroken, and lets us know why it might be of particular interest to readers drawn to stories about religious faith and experience.

Our April story, appearing here on the 26th, is a contemporary supernatural fantasy from J.L. Royce. In "The Secret Place of the Lord", an FBI agent and a small-town minister encounter mysteries hidden "in plain sight" among the forgotten places and people of midwestern America. 


The second Mysterion anthology is now available from Amazon and other fine retailers. Enjoy all the stories from our first two years as an online magazine, in convenient book form! The paperback version would be a wonderful gift for a Christian friend or family member who loves fantasy and science fiction, and we also have an e-book version for those who can't possibly find room in their home for more books. 


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Thank you for following our magazine, and we wish you a pleasant spring with many bright days and few dark ones.

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