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27 April 2011

Resurrection Season

The North American spring makes it easy to believe in resurrection. Death has given birth to life. The readings from the Easter vigil romp across the bible declaring that the God of creation in Genesis is the God who delivers in Exodus, guides (whether anyone follows or not) in the monarchy, calls for justice and righteousness in the Prophets, accompanies in the exile and promises hope and restoration at the end of the (first) canon. The Gospels proclaim that the same God is the God of Jesus of Nazareth who raised him from the dead, bringing new life to all who follow his life and teachings. Though it may lead to our death, it will lead to our resurrection.
Even without the vigil readings, the Easter message proclaims the power of God in and through Jesus, his life, his teaching, his example, his execution, his resurrection. The alleluias are still ringing, the lilies are still blooming.
Many priests, pastors and preachers will follow their resurrection sermons with sermons on doubt. The story of Thomas forever known as the doubter because he wanted to be sure, to see for himself that the impossible was possible, is the next story in the designated lessons for churches that follow the lectionary.
While I am not preaching Thomas this year, I find myself reflecting on him. More, what he represents. The world in which Christ is risen looks a lot like the world in which Christ was executed. With very few exceptions. A few women saw conflicting and perhaps unconvincing evidence (on its own). God sent beings of power and light to proclaim the resurrection, interpret and exegete the evidence of the empty tomb, because there was room for doubt. We who believe, must believe them who we have never seen.
And we have learned to look for signs of resurrection in the world, like signs of spring in the midst of winter. And for too many, it is still winter. Those who were hungry before Easter are hungry still. Those who were lonely before Easter are lonely still. Those who were homeless before Easter are homeless still. Those who were broken before Easter are broken still. Some, perhaps not all.
We who say we have seen the signs of resurrection and believe live in a crucified and crucifying world. I don't blame Thomas for asking for proof. I want more than proof. I want to see the resurrection of the whole world. I want to see the power of Pentecost transform church and society. I want to see the reign of God in our midst, with liberty and justice for all. I'm waiting for the world to change. Call me Thomasina.

1 comment:

  1. While you have said it all much more beautifully than I have (or ever will), I'm thinking some similar thoughts, and going, I think another step further. If the Thomases and Thomasinas of the world are asking these questions, looking for proof, than the Body of Christ needs to step up to the plate and get to the business of providing it - - working for the reign of God in our midst, working on signs of resurrection, justice, and mercy, so the Thomases and Thomasinas will have something to point to and say, "Ah, yes! I believe. He is risen indeed."