Practicing Resurrection.

Today is Resurrection Sunday. It’s a day where Christians tell the Easter story and Jesus risen from the tomb and remember that out of the death and darkness, hope and new life emerge.

I know so many of you reading here have found yourself in an awkward position with Easter and the only thing we can muster is a cold and broken Hallelujah.

Despite many shifts in faith over the years, I am still thankful for resurrection and that without the Friday and Saturday of Jesus’ story, Sunday means nothing. Without death and suffering, there is no joy. Our past is always part of our future.  Our stories are always a strange and holy mix of sorrow and joy, beautiful and ugly, dark and light, despair and hope.

I also love another form of the word–resurrecting.

Here are some synonyms for “resurrecting”:  awakening, bouncing back, breathing new life into, brightening, coming to life, making whole, overcoming, reawakening, recovering, rekindling, renewing, renovating, restoring, resuscitating, snapping out of it, springing up, strengthening, waking up.

Resurrect-ing.

It’s a verb. It’s active. It’s ongoing.

It’s not an event but a way of living.

One of my favorite lines in a poem is from Wendell Berry, one of the most often quoted around Easter time. He says, “practice resurrection.”

Practice resurrection. 

Many of us are resurrecting in all kinds of unique, wonderful, and scary ways this season.

We’re waking up.

We’re healing.

We’re shedding things that hinder.

We’re coming to life again after a season of painful loss.

We’re finding our voice and advocating and resisting and persisting.

We’re uncovering our passions.

We’re discovering life in unlikely places.

We’re showing up instead of hiding.

We’re thawing hardened hearts.

We’re loving God in new ways.

We’re trying new things.

We’re loosening our grip on things we once held tightly.

We’re rebuilding after deconstructing.  

We’re trying to stand up after a season of crawling.

We are resurrecting.

During baptisms I love sharing 2 Corinthians 5:17, “The old has gone, the new is here.” But in my day to day living, I also like to think of this process as an active part of spiritual formation and transformation “the old is always dying, and the new is always coming.”

That’s much more what real life is like for most of us.  

The old is always dying, the new is always coming.

Also, we never know what’s going to die and what new might emerge.

This year Easter is extra tender as my dad is living with us in home hospice. Over this past week he’s taken a significant downturn and I’ve been deeply struck by the vulnerability of life in completely new ways. In the middle of so much grief is so much Good, too.

It’s also The Refuge’s 12 year birthday this week. Our little Christian community and mission center is such a sweet and hard place to learn so many things I need to learn about resurrecting and awakening, bouncing back, breathing new life into, brightening, coming to life, making whole, overcoming, reawakening, recovering, rekindling, renewing, renovating, restoring, resuscitating, snapping out of it, springing up, strengthening, waking up.

It’s where I keep remembering that resurrecting is not born out of life and ease and comfort and light.

It comes out of death and trouble and discomfort and darkness.

But it’s always coming, again, again, and again.

All kinds of lovely slivers of hope. joy. peace. love. mercy. forgiveness. grace. justice. beauty.

Death and life.

Life and death.

The old always dying.

The new always coming.

Wendell Berry’s words always come back–practice resurrection.

The world could sure use more Easter people right now.

God, resurrecting.

Us, resurrecting. 

Resurrect-ing.

No matter where you are at today in your life, your faith, my hope, my heart is that some how, some way, you feel a glimpse of resurrection.

Love and Hope from Colorado this Easter morning, Kathy

 

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