Resurrection – a Different Kind of Hope!

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Creative Commons Newborn Monarch expanding” by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The following reflection comes after reading Bernard Brandon Scott’s The Trouble with Resurrection. Scott reminds us that “The trouble with resurrection is that we have literalized, narrowed, and constricted it, turned it into a credal belief, and in the process forfeited its great claim and hope.” The following picks up a number of ideas, images, and phrases from Scott’s work.

Resurrection is
   a resounding symphony
   a spectacular work of art
   a beautiful poetic image
      arising out of
         the bosom of Israel
      preserving the grace of justice
         in the name of God

Resurrection has been
      scandalized by centuries
         of dogmatic veneer
         of mis-interpretation
         of foolish theology

Too many Christians
   who think they believe
      in the resurrection
   actually believe
      in the immortality of the soul
   a Greek idea
      making resurrection unimportant
      impugning the body as evil
      commending the soul as good

Immortality
   focuses on the world to come
   devaluing nature as a useful resource
      to be consumed without regard
      to be devoured with no thought for tomorrow
      to be exploited for human satisfaction
   turning Christianity into
      a hunting safari saving souls
         to be taxidermied into heaven

Resurrection is
   a gift that bubbles up and overflows
      in a transformed people
   the endowment of hope
      that constitutes a New Humanity
   the reality of memory and experience
      that insists upon me daily

As kingdom people
   we are offended by the crucifixion
   we want life to be unsullied by death
   but we can not abandon
   what we know about Yeshua
      that he lived fully into God
      that he made God known to us
      that the kingdoms of this world
         are not God’s kingdom

As kingdom people we
   continue to experience a presence
   a potentiality bubbling up into our midst
   the force of love
      that did not die on the cross
like our first-century forebears
we live in hope and confidence
   Rome has not defeated God
   God’s Kingdom thrives
      just as Yeshua has taught us
         whenever we take care of
            the poor and disadvantaged
         when we feed the hungry
            and give drink to the thirsty

Resurrection persists
   because of an empty tomb
      not because of a resuscitated body
   because we experience an insistence
      in the name of God
   more powerful than the insistence
      in the name of Caesar

Resurrection is
   a story that enfolds me
      not an event that happens to someone else
   a movement embracing our passion for life
      not a dogma that creates truth
   a passionate experience
      not a creed

We long for a Parousia
   a consummation that will
      signal the ultimate victory
      of good over evil
and yet we silently cry out
   my God, my God
   why have you forsaken us?

A contemporary prophet reminds us
   “The arm of the moral universe is long
   but it bends toward justice”
resurrection is that bend
   which happens in the name of God
   a possibility that Yeshua opened up for all
   a potentiality that simmers within us

Resurrection bends us into the story
   drives us back to faithfulness and trust
   that God’s justice is
      always happening
      always insisting
      always appearing on the horizons
         of our lives
   inviting us
   urging us
   calling us
      into abundant life in the face of death
      into the well-being of all in society
      into the healing of a fractured world

Resurrection is
   the well-spring of hope
      that molds life
      that transforms me
   an insistence
      that will not let me go
      that brings me back to myself
         where I find God within
         waiting to burst forth
         wanting to arise

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