April 21, 2023
Meeting the Risen Christ
The scriptures for the post-Resurrection Sundays are ones that have to do with meeting the Risen Christ in a variety of ways. I find all of them to be fascinating and intriguing, as they tell us things not only about Christ but also about the people who encounter him.
I long ago wrote that, “To receive the impact of a work of art, one must engage that work, and then integrate the response into one’s thoughts and meditations. This is nothing less than the careful discipline that any other form of spiritual nourishment requires, in order to fully receive the gift that is offered in that moment.”
I believe that worship experiences offer similar possibilities. When we gather for worship, whether we are in-person or coming to it through some digital format, we are invited to be a part of the experience. Worship is not just a time to sit through, but a moment to engage with what is going on. Worship is an opportunity to stop and pay attention, to set aside our everyday pre-occupations, and to open ourselves so as to experience God, just as the disciples in the locked room, and the travelers on the road to Emmaus, experienced the Risen Christ.
And while I believe that churches need to give their very best in planning and sharing those worship times, there will certainly be days when the experience is not as inspiring as at other times. But if we are present and attentive, we will be able to glimpse and experience the presence of God even on those less-inspiring days. For God is indeed always present, and if we come and bring our full selves, then the encounter between us and God will occur.
April 5, 2023
A while back I happened upon a movie that was nearing its end, but the portion that I saw spoke so beautifully to the power of the Resurrection. (I apologize that I didn’t note the name of the movie.)
A grandmother is dying. And yet she is making that transition with purpose and faith. She walks around her home, by herself, moving from one window to the next, and pausing at each window to close the drapes for that window, then moving on to the other windows and doing the same thing.
All the while that she is doing this, we yet see, around the edges of the front door, through the windows beside the door, the light that is beyond. There is much more to the story than the coming of death, than the closing of the drapes. There is the light that awaits her. And as the story ends, she opens the door, and walks into the eternal light that is her new home.
It is such a light that Christ enters into in the Resurrection. The author of the Gospel of John refers to Jesus as the light come into the world. Jesus refers to himself as the Light of the World. And now, in the Resurrection, Jesus is again fully a part of that light; a light that we too will walk into some day.
I hope your Easter celebration is indeed blessed.
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