What is Resurrection?

          May I, may you, may we / not die unlived lives.
          May none of us live in fear / of falling or catching fire.
          May we choose to inhabit our days, / to allow our living to open us,
          to make us less afraid, / more accessible, / to loosen our hearts
          until they become wings, / torches, promises.


          May each of us choose to risk our significance;
          to live so that which comes to us as seed / goes to the next as blossom
          and that which comes to us as blossom, / goes on as fruit.
              — Dawna Markova

Resurrection is resistance to injustice.  It is the refusal to lay down and die on command; the refusal to give up the struggle.  It is a single, small voice speaking Truth to sometimes overwhelming Power.  It is the wild cry of solidarity and deep compassion.  It is the collective challenge to systems and structures that crush our hope and tell us to carry on as usual.

Resurrection happens whenever we ask the unpopular question, “Why?!”  Whenever we summon forgotten courage.  Whenever we listen long enough to hear a shaking voice speak.  Whenever we overcome the odds.  Whenever we deny denial. 

Or to reference Dawna Markova’s poem, resurrection is the refusal to die an unlived life.  It calls us to open our lives and to take risks for things that matter.  It lures us toward nurturing those tender things in and around us that need gentle care and attention.  Resurrection is the promise that our lives have purpose—that God is not finished with us yet.

I invite you, in the days and weeks ahead, to notice the places of resurrection in your life.  How is resurrection at work in you?  I want to know.

See you in church,

Jesus Rises in Us

    I have no wit, no words, no tears; / My heart within me like a stone
    Is numb'd too much for hopes or fears; / Look right, look left, I dwell alone;
    I lift mine eyes, but dimm'd with grief / No everlasting hills I see;
    My life is in the falling leaf:/  O Jesus, quicken me.

    My life is like a faded leaf, / My harvest dwindled to a husk:
    Truly my life is void and brief / And tedious in the barren dusk;
    My life is like a frozen thing, / No bud nor greenness can I see:
    Yet rise it shall—the sap of Spring; / O Jesus, rise in me.

    My life is like a broken bowl, / A broken bowl that cannot hold
    One drop of water for my soul / Or cordial in the searching cold;
    Cast in the fire the perish'd thing; / Melt and remould it, till it be
    A royal cup for Him, my King: / O Jesus, drink of me.

    —“A Better Resurrection” by Christina Rossetti

This Lenten season, we have pondered and explored what it means to be Living Vessels for God.  And I think Christina Rossetti says it beautifully here.  Alone, our lives are like broken bowls, faded leaves, frozen things.  But that is not—and never is—the end of the story.  With every day, with every moment, we are invited to refresh, renew, recast, remold, restore, and revive.  Like the song says, “Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.  Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me!”  We are constantly given opportunities to discover our real worth as royal cups, as living vessels for God.  Easter teaches us that Jesus does not just rise; Jesus rises in us.

The message of the resurrection is not about a miracle that happened long ago.  It is about a miracle that has the capacity to happen every day, every moment.  I once read that resurrection is stepping out of the old rooms in which we have lived.  And the fact is we all need to come out—and claim our identities as beloved children of God—as living vessels for God.  Because today, and every day, Jesus does not just rise; Jesus rises in us.  How will you—and how will we—live out this resurrection message of Easter?

See you in church,