April 2023

Resurrected From Our Daily Tombs

I wonder what Jesus’ dear friends were experiencing as they huddled at the end of a week that turned everything upside-down.

A few days earlier, they’d paraded into Jerusalem and defiantly proclaimed the presence of God’s kingdom – a community of love, healing and forgiveness open to all – right here in the midst of Caesar’s very different kingdom.

They watched him overturn tables in the temple in a protest against religion misused. It was all very exciting and very dangerous stuff.

And now, he was dead. Crucified by Rome. What always seems to happen, had happened again – powerful people with a lot to lose crush anyone who gets in their way. Such power seems to have the final say.

Now what?

The darkness of that moment must have felt overwhelming, as oppressive as the darkness of a tomb — and nothing’s darker than a tomb. But they would soon begin to realize that the story wasn’t over.
And it isn’t over today, either. That’s what we celebrate at this time of the liturgical year.

Resurrection yet again.

Easter isn’t only about one person 2,000 years ago. Nor is it primarily about a future event, what will happen to us when we die. Rather, it’s a present reality, a way of living today.

We are called to be people of resurrection even when things are dark. Especially when things are dark.
All of us experience many dark tombs in our lifetime — darkness of grief, depression, anxiety, pain, shame, rejection, worry, hopelessness, despair, fear, broken relationships, alienation. In those times, the darkness can feel heavy and weigh on us. We can feel trapped with no escape.

Also, our world is full of darkness – self-interest, greed, wealth, power misused, religion malpracticed, divisiveness, privilege, violence, bullying, misinformation, military and religious and culture wars. Those dark moments also can be oppressive. They seem to get the upper hand.

But wait! The story isn’t over. There’s a much bigger picture we’re invited to see and trust and live.

God always has the final say.

Easter connects us with a God who is working nonstop to resurrect us and our world, rolling our stones away, sending a ray of light into our death-shaped darkness and transforming it. We’re invited to get up yet again, leave our tombs, and participate in this nonstop work of bringing new life out of what sure seems like death, shining light into places that have gone so very dark.

Easter invites us to know, trust and celebrate the truth that love and life always get the final word. In the community of God, there is always resurrection.

Easter teaches us that you can crucify love, but you can’t kill it. You can run from love, but you can’t hide from it. You can ignore love, but it won’t give up in trying yet again to break through our fears and defenses to transform us.

The kingdom of God didn’t end when Jesus was crucified. The community of God didn’t disperse when he was buried. The work of bringing new life out of ashes and dust goes on unabated.
Nothing can stop it. Love always finds us, redeems us, and rises again within us and through us in ways big and small.

Love is never finished with us or God’s world.

The story isn’t over.

There is always more to come.

That is the Easter message.

Wherever you are today, no matter whatever darkness envelops you, regardless of whatever tomb confines you, be still and listen for a moment. You’ll hear the sound of a stone being rolled away.
You’ll recognize a ray of light piercing the darkness, calling us out of our tombs to participate in this ongoing process of resurrection.

And to that we say again: Alleluia!

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