Christian Reflections on Easter

Here are some reflections from Christian thinkers on Easter From Rev. Brian McLaren’s blog (Rev. McLaren is one of the most exciting contemporary Christian theologians):

Holy Week: Meditation 7 … Easter

Fr. Richard Rohr celebrates the holy resurrection of the Lord like this:

Christ Crucified is all of the hidden, private, tragic pain of history made public and given over to God. Christ Resurrected is all of that private, ungrieved, unnoted suffering received, loved, and transformed by an All-Caring God. How else could we believe in God at all? How else could we have any kind of cosmic hope? How else would we not die of sadness for what humanity has done to itself and to one another?Jesus is the blueprint, the plan, the pattern revealed in one body and moment of history to reveal the meaning of all of history and each of our lives. The cross is the banner of what we do to one another and to God. The resurrection is the banner of what God does to us in return.

Easter is the announcement of God’s perfect and final victory.

A prayer:

Living God, the risen Christ is on the move among us, but often we don’t recognize him. Like Mary Magdalene, we weep by the tomb, interpreting events in their worst possible light, until we hear the risen one call our name. Like the men walking to Emmaus, we think the bad guys have one, until we see Jesus alive in the breaking of the bread. Like the disciples on the beach, we go back to our old lives of fishing, while the risen Christ is on the beach making a fire for a breakfast we’re about to catch. Like Saul of Tarsus, we blindly surge forward doing our religious duty – even when it includes religious violence – until an unrecognized voice arrests us on the road, and when we ask, “Who are you, Lord?” we hear the answer: “Jesus, the one you are persecuting.”So now, where we face disappointment, discouragement, lack of faith or hope, or lack of conscience … we open ourselves this Easter morning to discover that you are already here, unrecognized. Today, may we once again hear our name, recognize Christ in the breaking of bread, cast our nets again, and know the good news that the Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!”–Rev. Brian McLaren

Here are some reflections from people whom Brian McLaren invited to blog on Easter.
Kara Root, pastor of Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, MN.

Carl Gregg, associate pastor at Northminster Church in Monroe, LA.

Monica Coleman, associate professor of constructive theology and African American religions at Claremont School of Theology.

Doug Pagitt, founder of Solomon’s Porch in Minneapolis, MN.

Amy Julia Becker, a writer and a student at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Shane Mullin, Director of Youth Ministries at First United Methodist Church in McAllen, TX.

Alyce McKenzie, Professor of Homiletics at Perkins School of Theology.

Bruce Epperly, Professor of Practical Theology at Lancaster Theological Seminary and co-pastor of Disciples United Community Church in Lancaster, PA.

Jim Ward, Rector of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Belvedere-Tiburon in Marin County, CA.


Kara Root

I need the Resurrection
because my sister is sick
and can’t afford insurance,
because I’ve told a weeping Haitian mom,
“No, I can’t take your son home with me.”
because I’ve been rushed off a Jerusalem street
so a robot could blow up a bag that could’ve blown up us.
because I’ve exploded
in rage
and watched their tiny faces cloud with hurt.
because evil is pervasive
and I participate.
I need the Resurrection
because it promises
that in the end
all wrongs are made right.
Death loses.
Hope triumphs.
And Life and Love
Prevail.

Kara Root blogs at in the hereandnow

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Carl Gregg

I need the Resurrection to remind me that even when it seems like the oppressive systems of the world have won, God is ceaselessly working in all situations for good, for life, and for love.Wendell Berry’s poem “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front” inspires me to hear the Resurrection story as an invitation to “practice resurrection.”We practice resurrection when we are open to God’s call to seek life on the other side of death, hope on the other side of despair, and peace on the other side of fear.

Carl Gregg blogs at Faith Forward at Patheos.

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Monica Coleman

As one who knows metaphorical and literal death, resurrection matters. To see value in the past after seasons of hopelessness, and to stay in community when reason says to walk away — is mercy. To break bread with people who have hurt you, and to retell stories that have lost meaning in today’s apathy and nihilism — is grace.The mystery is not that some people cannot do this; the mystery is that any of us can. Finding life after death is divine activity. Our wills and fortitudes alone shrivel with the task. God maintains hope amidst death.

Monica A. Coleman blogs at Monica A. Coleman.

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Doug Pagitt

Jesus was sent to fulfill the promise of the love of God by ending human hostility. This world is to be one of peace, harmony, and integration. The story of Jesus Christ is about the healing all of creation. This was God’s promise from the start. When Jesus was resurrected from the dead, life won out. The power of God’s love for humanity proved stronger than our capacity to hate one another. Jesus’ death was about war, about violence, about destruction. But his resurrection was about peace, compassion, renewal, and God’s promise of life, and I need that.

Doug Pagitt blogs at Doug Pagitt.

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Amy Julia Becker

Shower, breakfast, kids to school, myself to work, go running, make dinner, kids to bed, check email, sleep. It’s easy to forget. But after the earthquake in Haiti, I need the resurrection. When my friend’s parents die in a plane crash, I need the resurrection. When another IED explodes, I need the resurrection. And when I see the flash of blue and yellow of a bird in flight, when apartheid ends, when my kids hold hands, I need the resurrection. In the sorrow and the joy, the resurrection reminds me: goodness will last, light overcomes darkness, life triumphs over death.

Amy Julia Becker blogs at Thin Places.

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Shane Mullin

In a world where things are often not as they should be (injustice, indifference, selfishness, despair), the resurrection of Jesus offers me a lens through which I am able to see and know things as they were intended to be.This is a lens I need.The Resurrection means that I can not only embrace God’s promise of a better world, but I can also choose to participate in this abundance because death succumbs to life.I need the lens of Resurrection so that amidst deficiency, I can see what it means to choose love over anything that isn’t love.

Shane Mullin blogs at Blurried.

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Alyce McKenzie

Without the Resurrection I would strongly suspect that living for others, despite the cost, brings life. But how would I know for sure? With the knowledge that Jesus Christ, who was crucified, is yet alive, my suspicion is confirmed. I need the Resurrection so that I won’t spend my life waiting until it’s too late to live for him, which means to live for others. The Resurrection prevents my being like Joseph of Arimathea who tenderly cared for the body of Jesus, but only after he was dead. It empowers me to care for Jesus’ body, knowing that he lives!

Alyce M. McKenzie blogs at Faith Forward at Patheos.

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Bruce Epperly

Resurrection transforms tragedy and heals brokenness.When I reach my limits, resurrection gives me hope for the future.I identify with Mary of Magdala: there are moments I can’t see beyond my pain or self-concern, and then I hear Jesus call my name, and I’m alive again.But, like Mary, I can’t hold on to that experience; I must open to new possibilities.I identify with the men walking to Emmaus; resurrection awakens me to Jesus’ presence in the ordinary and challenging events of life.Resurrection is God’s “yes” to the life now and forever.

Bruce Epperly blogs at Bruce Epperly.

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Jim Ward

I’m not so sure that I need the resurrection as that I need the God that only the resurrection reveals. What the resurrection shows us is not so much how like God Jesus is, as how like Jesus God is. The basic affirmation of Easter (“Christ is Risen”) means that if you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus. So all of our frantic attempts to silence the truth are forgiven by the very truth we’ve stamped out. It means God loves us so much that not even our killing him will keep him from reconciling us.

Jim Ward serves as Rector of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.

 
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