Marietta First United Methodist Church

What If . . . ?

By Rev. Lori Ethridge
Minister to Senior Adults

I regularly participate in a monthly book club in my living community, and over the last year we have read a number of fictional stories set in the European Theatre of World War II. You avid readers will no doubt be familiar with these national best-sellers; All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I can recommend each of these titles, especially if you enjoy the human interest side of the tales of war. Personally, I would curl up with a good book no matter the topic, but my husband enjoys television drama, and lately we have been watching a post-WWII series called The Man in the High Castle. This series imagines an entirely different historical outcome of the armed conflict between the allied and the axis powers. In this drama, it is Washington D.C. that is destroyed instead of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The axis powers win the war and the United States is divided into the Japanese-controlled West and the German-controlled East. Evil reigns and the human interest sub-plots are continually dominated by distrust, fear, and death. During each episode I find myself aghast and wondering, “What if this really happened?” How dramatically different our lives might have been these last seventy odd years!

It is equally unthinkable for me to ponder the question, “What if the resurrection had never happened?”  First of all, if Jesus had not been raised from the dead, there would be no church, and no New Testament. If evil had ultimately triumphed over good, and if death still reigned, our world would be unrecognizable. The apostle Paul touches on this horrific thought in First Corinthians 15:12-19 when he suggests that we of all people would be most pitied. We would be without hope, lost in our sins, and would have no peace with God, or with anyone else. Life would be a nightmare, much like life is portrayed in the series, The Man in the High Castle. Thanks be to God that it isn’t so. Thanks be to God for Easter!