Resurrection: A Way of Life

16 04 2014

By Katie Harmon-McLaughlin, Spiritual Formation Ministries

There is always hope. This message is at the heart of Christianity. This is the essence of our story.

Whatever injustice we face, whatever hardship we bear, whatever we must release that keeps us from becoming who we are called to become, there is the promise of new life.

Knowing this can get us through seemingly dark and desolate times. But to live new life is a challenge and blessing of its own.

Many may not be aware that in the liturgical year, Easter is not just one Sunday, but seven! Whatever the historic reasons for this may be, it reminds me that resurrection is not a once-a-year event, but an ongoing activity. It is a process we are called into for longer than an egg hunt and a good sermon on Easter morning.

It is easy to imagine resurrection in an abstract way. We can see all around us the ways that death yields new life. It is different—and its own kind of terror—to imagine ourselves living in this new life of hope.

My mom preached an Easter sermon I will never forget. She confessed she didn’t know if she was ready to peer into the empty tomb. What would that mean? What would that require? With some things, once we know them, we can never return to life as usual.

Her observation struck me because I had never heard resurrection mentioned with timidity. It had always been about celebration and good news! It is all of those things and the door to deeper life. It is the invitation to keep walking forward into the fullness of what is possible. It is saying with conviction, “I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back…” (“I Have Decided to Follow Jesus,” Community of Christ Sings 499, S. Sundar Singh).

Sometimes it is easier to live death than new life, to imagine ourselves as defeated rather than living in the new thing God is inviting us to join. This can be true in our spiritual lives, our congregational lives, and our relationships. Living new life inherently is about transformation, which involves vulnerability and courage. It also involves the full promise of God’s vision for us, permeating the reality of our lives and beckoning our faithful response.

The journey of Lent was an opportunity to shed ourselves of things that distract and distance us from God and others—things that serve as barriers and excuses to living Christ’s mission.

May this Easter season remind us this is not the time to pick those things up again, but to move forward, embodying resurrection hope in a world aching for fuller life.




One response

16 04 2014

Reblogged this on BradBryant70 and commented:
Good thoughts as we approach Easter. Thanks Katie!

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