“U.S stocks surged on the last session of a holiday-shortened week, and the major indexes completed their first five-week winning streak since October 2007 . . .”
– Wall Street Journal, Friday, April 10, 2009
Does this mean we’re off the bottom, that our crippled economy is starting to show some signs of recovery? Are we beginning to see a glimmer of hope, some signs of optimism in the business environment? At this point we don’t know for sure, but at least these five consecutive weeks of a rising stock market provide some welcome relief from the months of decline we’ve experienced. It is good news for a change, giving us hope that there might be a resurrection in our economy in the not-so-distant future.
Interestingly, during this same period of time that the stock market has been on the rise Christians from around the world have been observing the forty day season known as Lent, a time of fasting and penitence intended to remind us of Christ’s suffering which ultimately led to his trial and crucifixion on the cross. The reason Christians observe this season is in preparation for its conclusion which is celebrated on Easter Sunday, the commemoration of Christ’s resurrection and the gift of hope that event offers to a lost and suffering world.
The celebration of Easter and a rising stock market seem like strange bedfellows to mention in the same breath, don’t they? Yet both, at least in this present moment, bring us hope, but in very different ways. Easter celebrates a resurrection that gives us hope, while the rising stock market only offers hope that there might be a resurrection. Easter is rooted in two thousand years of history and tradition founded on a resurrection that is for eternity, while the rising stock market is only a current event that even if it is sustainable will at best be a temporary condition in the scheme of things. No doubt the message from the Wall Street Journal about the state of the stock market is good news for us all, giving us hope that there might be a resurrection. But the message of Easter is Good News about a resurrection that has already occurred, one that gives us all hope.
So here’s a question for you. In which resurrection do you place your hope, in one that might be – or one that’s already occurred?