Resurrection: Bending Toward Love

Lots of folks love preaching about the risen Christ on Easter Sunday without talking about what he went through to get there. It’s a bad habit we Protestants have, but plenty of us skip right over Maundy Thursday and Good Friday to Easter. Part of this is because we don’t like to have to deal with the darkness of Jesus’ crucifixion, suffering, death and burial, but it’s also because we don’t really understand the resurrection.

For me, resurrection is a process, rather than a one-time event. It’s more like how Martin Luther King spoke of history’s arc, bending toward justice. God’s arc for the whole of humanity is long, chaotic and sometimes even violent. But it bends toward hope. It bends toward life and love. That love, though not yet fully realized, is a restoring love that is greater than the sum total of the destructive forces humanity can muster.

Resurrection literally means to make something right again. Though we are bent, bruised and bloodied by life’s darkness, God’s love makes us upright once again. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But faith in resurrection means that our entire existence bends toward God’s fullness.

The following was in response to the theo-blogger challenge posed by Patheos Editorial Staff: How I’m Preaching the Resurrection. For other responses to this challenge, CLICK HERE.

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  • Sherrill

    Christian, could you unpack one sentence of your entry a little more?  ”
    God’s arc for the whole of humanity is long, chaotic and sometimes even violent.”    I know the reality of human life is sometimes violent, but am not sure what you mean about God’s arc being sometimes violent.  Of course, I also don’t believe God “mandated” in any way (like substitutionary atonement) Jesus’ violent death.  That’s the only example that came to mind when I read that statment.  I highly doubt you believe in s.a. either.  Guess I’d just like a little more info on that brief but loaded statement.  (And I don’t mean loaded in any negative way, just as carrying a lot of meaning.)

    • Christian Piatt

       Sure thing. I wasn’t thinking so much about crucifixion in that sentence, but rather the inherent violence of life, including creation itself. The Big Bang was amazing, I expect, but also violent. So I’m not so much using the word “violent” just to talk about bloody aggression (though there’s plenty of that too) but rather that the entirety of creation has violent episodes throughout.