A Poetic Hi Note for Easter 2012
Reflections for The season of Easter through Ascension and Pentecost
Alleluia Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed. Alleluia!
I greet you Beloved and I rejoice with you on the occasion of Easter 2012. I am not sure of much but I am sure of the resurrection – the first one, Jesus’ rising from the dead, and the second one which is the possibility of resurrection for every human being. I trust that you will declare your resurrected status in faith because when you do, you are.
We are resurrection people and ours is a resurrected communion. That means that we have cast off our death shroud and have put on our living “rags”. We are no longer self propelled (a good idea at the time) but powered by God! Resurrection is life; a new life lived to the full in Christ.
So let’s talk about resurrection, the first one. It was a spring day and spring does have an effect that goes beyond matter. Spring has a spiritual and emotional effect on every human being. The first witnesses were thus ready to see the Resurrection of Jesus. It was spring and they had seen much more besides. What with walking on water and blind people seeing and thousands being fed from nothing really. So the resurrection was simply a logical extension of all they had experienced. This does not mean that they took it lightly. It had such a powerful effect on them that they – like the Israelites in the wilderness hundreds of years before – went from quivering fugitives to bold Evangelists in the space of fifty days. Yes Pentecost was in itself a significant event – the ultimate empowering event but it had to be preceded by a great deal of patching on a quilt that was suddenly threadbare. The death of Jesus in so brutal a way left this group emotionally and spiritually spent and desperately afraid. In those moments human beings are seldom a coherent integrated whole. We turn on those closest to us. The centre seldom holds. Things fall apart in the words of a wise observer of human nature, W.B.Yeats.
So the fact that they actually hold together for fifty days is remarkable since they have proved themselves so human and my contention is that the resurrection is what holds them together and gives them meaning and purpose. The resurrection impacts everything. Nothing was ever the same from that moment on to this day. Some of us eschew our individual resurrections. So we don’t experience it firsthand. That does not mean that resurrection is denied or withheld from you. It simply means that you have not said “I receive God’s resurrection gift and long to live the life made possible by that Gift given through Jesus.” It is there now. Just take it!
Back to the first resurrection. The atmosphere is pregnant with Spirit. Spring occupies her space fully. Humanity is as ready as she will ever be. Then God throws the switch: resurrection. From then on a spirit prevails like no other before. People are filled with something. It is the beginning of the end – and the end of the beginning. Humanity is set free. This freedom blows like a wind amongst those who were oppressed, and those who held them captive, inspiring fear and jubilation; cheerfulness and cruelty.
Imagine now your own resurrection. Remember that it is a journey that begins with you honestly taking stock of your life – acknowledging all that you are: that which makes you proud, that which leaves you embarrassed and humiliated, that that you dream of and hope for. Your passion, your relationships: the good the bad and the downright ugly! Put them all in a heap and then light the fire. This is a cremation service. Nothing is to survive in its present form. All must be destroyed so the New Life can rise. Now walk away from your ash-laden tomb and into the spring, the sunlight and a lightness of heart and being. This is resurrection and access is never denied to those who appropriate it. This is why Jesus died. Not just to save your sinful self but to ensure your abundant life and all that that means.
Christ is risen. You are risen!
Christ is risen. I am risen indeed!
My sincere thanks to all who contributed to this Lenten and Easter experience. It is journey we all were on even if you were not physically present. That is the joy of being part of a mystical body. As I looked over the congregation on Easter day, resurrection was palpable everywhere. I praise God for his faithfulness and all of you.
This has been a very healing and constructive exercise. For once we have a handle on who we are and what we need to do and by when. Information will be flowing out from next Sunday and we will formerly launch our new vision statement and our values and objectives soon after. I am looking forward to wide ranging involvement from all of you to ensure our success in terms of our calling to the people of Fourways. Watch this space.