I remember the first Easter after my dad died, now 26 years ago. I was not impressed by the Easter story that year, because my loved one remained buried and decaying. I wondered what this resurrection business really was about—just a distant hope of bliss in another world? Why didn’t it touch me more here on earth?
Today, we are subjected with round-the-clock news of a civilization in desperate need of resurrection. Thousands of civilian Syrians have died and continue to die in the endless civil war there. High-school students in the USA are mounting an inspiring offensive against the culture of violence here. Massive numbers of refugees struggle to survive while being shuffled between wars and the agendas of fearful nation-states. Then there’s humanity’s aggressive and relentless attack on this good earth God gave us. And on and on.
Lord Jesus, what does your Resurrection mean today? To us? How do we take hold of whatever joy or relief we should be experiencing?
I go to one of my favorite quotes, from theologian Karl Rahner: “The Christian of the future will be a mystic or he will not exist at all.” The mystic understands that we are living in more than one dimension at once. The Christian believes that a larger Reality engulfs the reality she experiences directly and presently. In the Reality, all creation is moving toward the Creator and ultimate redemption and healing. Through Christ’s Passion and Resurrection, we are carried in this immense movement toward God and in concert with the activity of God’s Kingdom. I realize that there’s a lot of theology involved in this paragraph. Please don’t treat this as a doctrinal explanation but as a general picture of who we are: loved by the Ultimate Love Loving, whose work and will are not thwarted by any form of evil.
How do I live the resurrection while living in the here and now? I do not deny the wars and violence and despair; they are real. Neither do I deny the kindness, care, courage, creativity, and the power of our words and actions for the righteous and the good and the compassionate. As a follower of Jesus, who conquered death, I must practice a way of seeing that takes in the larger Reality. This Reality can be seen with faith, and faith is a gift from God.
Can you and I open our spiritual eyes this day, during this season when we celebrate resurrection? Can we recognize signs of God’s Kingdom that are just as present as the wars and the suffering?
Perhaps we don’t have enough faith to see the Reality, the larger view of what God is doing. So we see with the faith we do have. We use our little faith with all the strength and desire we possess. It’s up to God to gift us with greater and greater faith. And, even on my darkest days, I do believe God will deliver.
Try this prayer:
God, I trust that you’re at work in the world. But, honestly, I’d like to see it better. Please grow my faith. Help me embrace the resurrection and new life you offer. Amen.