My morning readings were heavy with resurrection (In Hebrew, the word for glory is a word for heaviness, so I might say that the lessons were glorious with resurrection).
Matthew’s account of Jesus’ resurrection was most specific about resurrection, voicing a radical disjunctive from normal expectations and an even more radical conjunctive to a transformed future.
But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.”
What used to be was what used to be, but Jesus isn’t bound by it. And he’s going ahead of us, expecting to meet us and make known his new reality.
There were also allusions to resurrection in the Psalms I offered this morning.
My heart, therefore, is glad, and my spirit rejoices; my body also shall rest in hope. For you will not abandon me to the grave, nor let your holy one see the Pit. You will show me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy, and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore. (16:9-11)
I am dying, not actively but in the general sense that all of us are mortal. But there is hope because of God’s promises and those promises include life, joy and pleasure beyond anything I can experience or imagine.
In contemplating these scriptures and others, I found a bit of peace and joy (always fleeting in my life, whether by nature or nurture I can’t say). I noticed that God is active with us, even in the death-like inactivity of sleep,
I will bless the LORD who gives me counsel; my heart teaches me, night after night. (Psalm 16:7)
But at my vindication I shall see your face; when I awake, I shall be satisfied, beholding your likeness. (17:16)
God is working to guide, enlighten, comfort and transform us when we are “dead” to his efforts. We sleep, are distracted or even flat out rebellious, but God is faithfully caring for us. And making us new, ready to meet him face to face, as the angel said in the message to the women at Jesus’ empty tomb.
I am mired in personal problems at present, symptoms and debris from decades of choices made and avoided, whether from nature or nurture I don’t know and, increasingly, don’t care. But the morning lessons warmed my heart and eased my mind. And I carry on today in the knowledge that the one who rose from the tomb is out ahead of me, sending messages that lead me toward him, not only in a distant future but in the here and now.
There are little resurrections to be had, from bits of what I’ve been to bits of what I’m becoming – to what he’s creating and recreating even when I’m not aware.