No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice.
My body rests in safety.
For you will not leave my soul among the dead
or allow your holy one to rot in the grave.
You will show me the way of life,
granting me the joy of your presence
and the pleasures of living with you forever.
Psalms 15: 9-11 (NLT)
Then it happened. A light went on in Simon’s head. It was as if the heavens opened and so did Simon’s eyes, and Simon stared into the realm of God. There he saw Jesus as part of God’s being and God’s meaning. It was not delusional. Death could not destroy the one who made God known. “Death cannot contain him. I have seen the Lord!” was Simon’s ecstatic exclamation. Then Simon opened the eyes of the others to what he saw. Each of them grasped this vision, experienced Jesus alive, and were themselves resurrected. That was Easter. It was both objective and subjective, but above all it was real.
I can get no closer than that. But that is close enough for me. Easter is real because God is real. Resurrection is real because God is not bound by mortality. Life beyond death is real because those of us who live inside God live beyond the boundaries of our own mortality.
There is always the possibility that we Christians are deluded–but I do not think so. I trust the God revealed to me by Jesus as the source of life, the source of love, and the ground of being–and I shall worship this God by living fully, loving wastefully, and daring to be all that I can be now and forever. When I do so, I will know the truth and power of the resurrection.
Bishop John Shelby Spong, The Easter Moment: Drawing Conclusions
Death cannot contain Jesus. The explosive moment of the Resurrection opened eyes and breathed life into dead hopes. To piggyback on my last post, the risen Christ settled once and for all, the “Now what?” question. Through the power of the resurrected Christ, we can make it through the “Now whats?” of life (ref. Philippians 4:13), knowing that “Now what?” is not the final question, or final answer.
Thanks be to God that when we die it’s not “The End”, but, “To Be Continued”. That the life we live in God is kicked up a notch when we transition from here to eternity. That because of the Resurrection, Death and Hell are moot points forever. When we close our eyes for the last time and flatline, our souls will not while away in some grave while the earth around it ages towards fiery death billions of years from now when the Sun expands. No way! God will take our souls up with Him/Her. God will open up eternity for us to be with Him/Her, and dwell joyfully and pleasurably in His/Her presence forever.
To chime in with Bishop Spong, Christ lives through us. Jesus lives when we live as he lived, love as he loved, and served as he served:
- Jesus lives when we reach out to the marginalized in our society-no matter who or what they are.
- Jesus lives when we love wastefully, even when the love’s not reciprocated.
- Jesus lives when we open our churches and make them places of affirmation, healing, justice and Godly wisdom.
- Jesus lives when we stand up for those that other “Christians” won’t: Gays/Lesbians, women, minorities, youth, the poor, the environment, and the alien.
- Jesus lives when we speak truth to power-even if it costs us.
- Jesus lives when we live with humility, justice and mercy.
- Jesus lives when we serve our fellow human.
- Jesus lives when we live fully even in the midst of trouble-like Jesus did.
Celebrate Easter, not with the sicky-sweet, pastel celebrations most will do at churches all over Christendom. Instead celebrate by letting Jesus, the Christ, live through us today and becoming Christs ourselves. Let Jesus burst forth in our hearts with new life and the power of a boundless God, the God that was in Christ Jesus. Then, along with Simon, we too can say, “We have seen the Lord!”
Then the world will truly see a living Jesus in us.
Peace and blessings on this Resurrection Day!