Subtitle: Seeds, kernels of theological refection about the meaning of Easter
Note: The following is the revised text of a theological reflection I shared with my parish community, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Spartanburg, South Carolina, during tonight’s livestream of An Order for Compline from the Book of Common Prayer.
Still in Eastertide, we continue our exploration of the resurrection of Jesus. This week, I offer what I call “Easter Eggs” – seeds, kernels of theological refection about the meaning of Easter.
“Alleluia! Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!”
Whatever our view of the resurrection of Jesus, the Easter proclamation is extraordinary because of it says about hope.
By “hope,” I don’t mean wishful thinking, that is, our heartfelt expressions of our desires in the face of things beyond our control. By “hope,” I mean our conviction that what God has proclaimed in Jesus will happen.
Now, I realize that for many, maybe most people, hope is not the first thing that comes to mind about Easter.
Rather, Easter proclaims a miracle. Jesus was crucified and died, and then, came back to life. Bodily. Albeit a fully, cosmically-accessorized body with supernatural powers. Jesus, at will, could appear in one place, disappear, and reappear some distance away; sometimes walking through closed and locked doors.
This – that Jesus came back to life bodily – is a fair point of view. By “fair,” I mean that I understand how and why people can and do believe it. A physical resuscitation certainly would have been and would be miraculous.
But this doesn’t explain the great and growing impact that the resurrection of Jesus had in the first century. At that time, the accounts of awakenings from death were neither unknown nor uncommon. Thus, the proclamation of Jesus rising from the dead would not have been new news.
To be continued…