Sorry, but I'm stuck on Easter. I just can't let it go. Then, again, I guess I'm not really sorry about this, since I am quite convinced we were never meant to let it go. We were never meant to recover from Easter. In fact, Easter is the recovery, which makes it possible to live–really to live, to live like we mean it.
As I determine to live this way I am struck and encouraged by the reality-altering impact of Jesus’ resurrection on the original Jesus-people. Because we know the story so well, our senses have grown dull to its shaper edges. Think of the most shattering tragedies that could occur, the most complete reversals life could present, the deepest bottom to which people could plunge, and the dark emotional, psychological and spiritual fog left in their wake. (It's not all that hard to think of such things, is it?) Welcome to the twilight zone between “It is finished!” and “He is risen!”
Now, consider the joyful and hilarious boomerang effect of resurrection reality, as The Story reveals it. Contrast Peter in denial in the courts of the High Priest with Peter in his Spirit-anointed, preaching prime in the Temple courts on the Day of Pentecost. Contrast the disciples huddled in fear behind closed door on Easter night, for fear of the Jews, with the disciples and others gathered in confident prayer behind closed doors, rattled open by earthquake the day after the authorities threatened them. Contrast Saul of Tarsus breathing out curses while conducting a campaign of ethnic cleansing against followers of “the way,” with Saul of Tarsus, also called Paul, clarifying the opposition against him by claiming to be on trial for the resurrection of the dead.
Don’t these few examples whet your appetite for “living like we mean it”? The Church preaches the truth—that Jesus’ resurrection makes all the difference in the world, that a Lord back from the dead calls into question the alleged wisdom and power of the world, the “standard operation procedures” of the present age, and the guaranteed future promised by the conventions of the status quo. We say that the fact of the resurrection of Jesus gives hope for every crisis, and power for every challenge of following Jesus from cross to glory. We invite people to embrace a living Lord, to accept the new order of resurrection reality, to let the Risen One lead us to powerful declaration and demonstration of good news!
O Lord God of empty tomb and blood-bought triumph,
Let our world be astonished because we’re living like we mean it!
Let the incursion of the coming age—where resurrection is the most basic fact of life—be so obvious, so undeniably and beautifully real, that all other ways of living will seem like mere existence, a shabby shadow of the glorious way you have opened before all people.
May our walk in that way, your way, be granted a great following in these days, as tribute to your bottomless grace, dimensionless love, and eternal glory,
In the name of that One raised by the power of your Spirit, ALIVE foever more,