This post is a contribution to the April Synchroblog: DO YOU LIVE UNDER A ROCK?As Christians we say we believe in the resurrection but sometimes it seems like we are living under a rock instead of living a resurrected life. As Easter approaches take some time to reflect on what it means to live out the resurrection. Does the resurrection make a difference in the here and now? Have you seen evidence of the resurrection in the land of the living? Would/Could resurrection life change anything/everything in the world/your community? What does it mean to practice resurrection? Join this month’s synchroblog and share your thoughts, reflections, opinions and stories as you consider the question “Do You Live Under A Rock?”
There are days when the life of Christ seems so present to me. When I see the world around me with a sharpness, when I experience a special insight, a full hope, a wonderful sense there’s so much more to this life. I want to let go all that which isn’t part of this new life. I want to press on into the life that is a resurrected life. My heart is strangely warm on days such as this. I believe. I know that the Jesus who walked out of that tomb calls me, empowers me, to walk out with him.
My trouble is that today I don’t feel like this. Today, I feel the struggle. I feel the gap between where I know I can be and where I am. I want to be someone who heals, who resonates an overflowing life, but I feel isolated, and silent, and with far too many distractions that clamor for my attention. The aroma of the tomb drifts past my nostrils and I falter. Maranatha, I cry. Our Lord, come.
Maybe that’s why I’ve been much more liturgically comfortable on Saturday rather than Sunday. That day between the cross and the resurrection fits my experiences so much more.
But the reality is that Jesus has been resurrected. This is much more than a nice religious sentiment. This is a change in reality itself. This means that my perceptions of death are not the final word, nor my experiences of frustration the end of the story. There is more. There is life.
Even now, there is life. What was broken is now whole. What was shamed is now glorified. What was crushed now stands. What was dead is alive. In the very place hope was lost, hope is reborn.
That’s the question. It’s rude and unseemly and terribly unEastery. It’s not even a good question for Lent. In Lent we’re supposed to mourn and let go, but we’re not really supposed to dismiss.
But really, Jesus rose again. So what?
Maybe this is the core question that is at the heart why I have trouble with Lent. I’m used to giving things up. I’m used to being humbled. I’m used to being among the powerless. I’m used to not having. I’m used to dashed expectations. I don’t need to be trained how to experience lack. I don’t need to let go of yet more to learn I need Christ.
I need to see Christ walking out of the tomb that is my own life.
Jesus is resurrected. This is the issue I need to ponder because it is the reality which I struggle to see represented in my own life. This is more than a testimony, after all, right? This is something that changes reality as we know it so should have a difference in how my life progresses.
And, I think, it does. But, as a Saturday Christian, I’m still struggling to see how this resurrected life makes a living difference.
The difference, I know, is one about my identity. Do I need to fight to give myself definition? To dominate and control and try, with all my effort, to make some sort of mark in this world so that somehow, someway, there might be an echo of my existence?
The resurrected life, however, seems to be one in which death is not the end, so I do not need to act like it is. If I am called to the resurrected life, then all that I carry with me — all my hurts, my frustrations, worries, fears, mistakes — aren’t baggage weighing me down. They’re part of who I am to be, redeemed with me in a new life.
The future is not something I need to fret over. Nor do I need to hustle and shine for the sake of someone else giving me an identity with their favor. If I live a resurrected life, my life is only by the grace and calling of Christ, who is the only one whose favor I should seek.
Do I need to impress others with what I have or what I know or what I can do? No. I get to serve others because I am freed from demanding their attention, or service, or response. The resurrected life means a life of freedom because in the resurrection my identity can only be found in Christ. I am free to live in a new way, for others, rather than in constant competition or expectation.
That freedom, however, is only a beginning. I have the freedom of no longer being in slavery to Egypt, but I do not see the Promised Land. I who live in the light of the resurrection do not always experience peace, and rarely rest. I am thirsty. I am hungry. I am battered. But I am called to live as though this is not the final reality. Because it isn’t. Is it?
Christ is resurrected. So what? That’s something I have to answer every single day, with every single interaction, living in the hope of a reality that is absolutely true but not yet fully experienced. That is a life of faith, lived out in response to the myriad of decisions which give me the option of choosing death or life, peace or violence, dominance or humility.
This is a wilderness. But it is a wilderness of promise. The resurrection matters, it transforms, it redeems. But I am called to step out and live within its promise, and not give into the grumbling that speaks of desperation, of slavery, of death. The resurrection promises a whole new perspective on my past, on my present, and into my future. If I have eyes to see such a perspective and courage to press on along its trails.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Check out the other great posts for this month’s synchroblog:
Phil Wyman at Square No More – Apocalyptic fervor spurs benevolent giving
Marta Layton at Marta’s Mathoms – Getting Out From Behind The Rock
Mike Victorino at Simply A Night Owl – Crawling Out From Under A Rock
John Paul Todd at E4Unity - Still Asleep In the Light
Brambonius at Brambonius’ blog in english - hiding the Resurrection life like a candle under a bucket?
George Elerick at The Love Revolution – (for)getting the resurrection
Liz Dyer at Grace Rules – I Will Answer That Question In A Minute, But First, I Want To Talk About Jesus
Jeff Goins at Jeff Goins Writer – Resurrection
Tammy Carter at Blessing the Beloved – Rock and a Hard Place
Kathy Escobar at the carnival in my head – little miracles
Christen Hansel at Greener Grass – Resurrection Rhythm
Alan Knox at the assembling of the church - Living The Resurrected Life
Christine Sine at Godspace – Palm Sunday Is Coming But What Does It Mean
Matt Stone at Glocal Christianity – Living the Resurrection
Steve Hayes at Khanya – Descent into Hell and penal substitution
Bill Sahlman at Creative Reflections – Do We Live Under a Rock of Belief?