Bask in the Joy of the Resurrection

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On this day we celebrate the fulfillment of God’s promises to raise Jesus from the dead and the deep knowledge that Love and Life are forever.  

Though we continue to live in a time of uncertainty, we see signs of new life as we look to living in a time of vaccines and precautions, a time of some movement in heart and mind to honor the dignity of every human being even as we witnesses acts of bias and violence, a time when we may start to care for the earth.  

Last Easter our experience gave us some insight into the feeling of the disciples that first Easter.   Our lives were turned upside down quickly.  We were not fully sure of what was happening and what it would mean for our future. 

Today on Easter Sunday I invite us again to enter the discovery of the Resurrection from the perspective of the disciples, especially those closest to Jesus.  The disciples had not fully grasped what Jesus had been telling them.  After Jesus’s death and burial Mary, mother of Jesus, and the other disciples must have felt devastated.  So many people in the world this year have felt that depth of grief and questions about why so many died and acts of hatred that continue.

On Easter morning Mary Magdalene, one closely connected to Jesus, and other women arose very early in the sadness to anoint Jesus’s body with aromatic oils, a last gift to him as well as a way to deal with the smells of death.   The absence of Jesus’s body yields confusion, sorrow and fear rather than joy.  Peter and presumably John see the folded burial linens and in wonder dare to believe Jesus is not dead, but what does that mean?  

They see and begin to believe.  For Mary Magdalene when she hears her name spoken does she recognize Jesus.  Their senses expand and they are awakened to the first inklings of the Resurrection.  

Their lives had been turned upside down by Jesus’s death and then, even more so by His resurrection.   When we begin to know throughout our being the gift of Life that does not end, we can shed fear, a need to make ourselves better than someone else, a worry we are not enough.   We begin to experience the joy of our connection to one another and the freedom of living by pouring ourselves out for others and the world.   Jesus gave himself fully and freely for Love of all creation and specifically you and me.   May we accept this invitation to love. 

Recently I have been inspired by artist Jackie Abrams with whom I studied basketry.   After an incredible exhibit called Precarious Shelter, this winter she was surprised by a diagnosis of incurable cancer.  This woman who has shown me much about how to live, including where to find the best ice cream,  is meeting her approaching physical death by continuing to give.  Recently she decided to sell all the tools in her studio and donate the proceeds to a group of women artists in Central America with whom she has worked.   I sense only joy and giving as Jackie shows us how to die by pouring out oneself for others.

God’s promise of new life is fulfilled and continues to be fulfilled each time we live knowing in our very being that love is stronger than death.  

Our lives have been turned upside down by a pandemic, a deeper awakening to racial inequities, a challenge to our democracy, and personal grief, illness and/or other changes.

Today — Easter Sunday — may we down into our core, in all our senses experience our lives turned upside down by the Resurrection.  

Bask in the resurrection.  We do not yet know what is coming, but we know Christ is victorious over sin and death.   We are reconciled to God and we are called to go forward with a love stronger than death, stronger than fear and stronger than self-worry.  

In the weeks ahead as we explore Jesus’s appearances to the disciples and then celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, we will look more closely at what it means to live in this world as people of the Resurrection, trusting in God’s promise of new life and fullness of life.   

Today let us spend some time in our entire being, seeing, hearing and fully sensing the presence of Jesus Christ right here, right now with us.  

Today — Easter Sunday — may we down into our core, in all our senses experience our lives turned upside down by the Resurrection.  

Today — Easter Sunday — may we down into our core, in all our senses experience our lives turned upside down by the Resurrection.  

Bask in the joy of the resurrection!