I am writing this on Easter Sunday. It's a day for beginning, but it's not a day for a fresh start. The story tells us that rebirth - like birth itself - is messy and terrifying and painful.
Christ rises and the women at the tomb are first confused, then terrified, and then joyful. And then they have to tell a story no one will believe.
Christ rises with the the memory and the marks of his life. He does not promise a fresh start. Forgiving is not forgetting. He remembers and so do we.
Christ rises and although you may not believe in the story, yet you believe the story itself while you hear it. That's how we understand stories: we believe them long enough to learn what happens, to experience a change, to recognize a pattern. This story is about the glory of starting again. This story is about the price of starting again.
This is a story about stripping away excuses. Yes, you are broken and your wounds are still fresh. Start again. Yes, your heart has been broken and you have been terrified and no one will believe you. Start again. Yes, there is a world of peace waiting if only you will give up and walk away. But stay. Engage.
This is the story. Maybe for you, it's only a story. But still while you hear it, it's a story that says you cannot start fresh. But you can step up and step out and choose to start again now.