the difference it makes
On the first Sunday after Easter, it’s not too soon to ask how the Resurrection has affected our lives. Has it made a difference? As people of professed faith, it’s not enough to ask ourselves what we believe. We need to know what difference it makes that we believe. If faith without works is dead, then Resurrection as cause without effect may as well never have happened–and for any of us without such effect, it hasn’t happened…yet. To see the Resurrection as an event that happened at a certain place and time in the classical past, is to miss the significance of a deeper truth. When Mary and the women come to look for Jesus that Sunday morning, they find God’s messengers instead asking, why do you seek the living among the dead? That question is the central question of our lives. Mary is looking for Jesus where she expects him to be–in a graveyard. We all do that. We look for things where we expect them to be, and in our search for the merely plausible, we miss what’s entirely possible. Our beliefs limit what we are capable of seeing. The moment we settle on a belief, set it in stone, let it become static and unmoving, that belief is dead, no longer among the living–and Jesus is not there. God’s spirit, ruach [wind, breath, spirit], is always described in motion, just as wind and breath are by definition always in motion or no longer function as wind and breath. If we look for Resurrection only in the past, in the pages of Scripture, in church, in religious practice, we are looking for the living among the dead. Jesus is always in motion and where there is motion there is life, and where there’s life there is Resurrection–the living Jesus. If we can’t find the living One in every face and embrace, then we have missed the difference it makes when we finally stop looking for things only where we expect them to be.
Message delivered @ theeffect, 4/15/12. Here for audio message.
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