Now

resurrection

He is risen!

Now … we can rise, as well.
To life
To love
To joyful celebration.

Why wait?
Eternal life starts now.

“The risen Christ is the standing icon of humanity in its full and final destiny. He is the pledge and guarantee of what God will do with all our crucifixions.” – Richard Rohr

[image cropped from photo by lady habib per cc 2.0]

unnecessary crucifixion

crucifixion

Jesus did not come to change the mind of God about humanity – it did not need changing! Jesus came to change the mind of humanity about God.- Richard Rohr

Perhaps …
Could this be true?

The crucifixion was unnecessary.

God did not require it – we did.

It was not God who demanded sacrifice as the gateway to reconciliation.
God’s power to love and forgive was never held hostage to some cruel death.
Love has always been more powerful than sin.

We are the ones who required blood-sacrifice.
We believed so deeply that the price of sin was death
That we would not accept God’s love and reconciliation without it.

So, Christ, who came for reconciliation,
Who came to show us love,
Met our conditions.

God’s desire for relationship was so deep
That God yielded to our obstinate delusions
To prove in ways that only we demanded
The awesome, terrible depth of love.

God does not love us more – or less – because of the crucifixion.
But we can now accept forgiveness
And find a way to receive and return that love.

That is God’s desire – that we would love in return.

God will do whatever it takes to help us find the way to love.

[image cropped from a photo by Steve Snodgrass per cc 2.0]

hope is worth the risk

tenacious hope

Hope is worth the risk.
Just saying.

Even when the odds are low
And the world seems such a mess
And disappointment threatens
Hope, hope itself, is worth the risk.

It keeps the heart pumping
And the eyes open to what may come
And anticipates the sudden intake of breath
Brought by the delightful surprise
That is (hopefully) just around the corner.

Yes, hope is worth the risk.

And most especially when it is grounded
In resurrection –
The one that has happened
And the one that will happen, soon.

So … delight with me in the coming delight.
It’s ok.
Even disappointment cannot erase
The delight of sharing hope with you.

[photo by Alix May per cc 2.0]

What is the message of the cross?

cross
What is the message of the cross?
Not that God needed blood in order to be able to forgive,
But that no amount of rejection, violence or hate
Could keep God from forgiving.

 

How sad that even this most loving act
Has been reinterpreted as the requirement of a blood-thirsty god
Who is bent on vengeance unless he can be placated by death.
It tells us more about ourselves than we can bear to admit.

God did not drive the nails.
God endured it
And, sweet mystery, still offers to love and forgive.

Would that we could learn such love.
It is my greatest wish.
And God’s.

That is the message of the cross.

[cropped from photo by Adam Selwood per cc 2.0]

Christians are the proof of Easter

caring handsChristians are the proof of Easter,
Much more than the empty tomb.
It’s not so much where Christ is not …
It’s where Christ is.

It’s where His body is, today.
And what He’s doing in the world
With our hands and feet and voice …
Which are, of course, now His.

(Ok, so I have to say I find this pretty intimidating.)

[photo by Randen Pederson per cc2.0]
[This saying, ‘Christians are the proof of Easter’ comes from a third grader in a Sunday school class I taught some 40 years ago, when I asked the class, ‘What do you think was the proof of the resurrection?’ and he answered, with excitement, ‘Christians!’]
[St. Theresa of Avila gives us the quote that Christ has no hands but ours.]

Resurrection of hope

sunrise

These words, whispered in my ear this morning:

Do you see, my little one,
The ribbon of red along the horizon?
Do you feel the rush of mystery,
Touched by the fingers of the sun as it rises?

Do you not know, deep in your soul, that my love for you
Is too deep for hope to be forever lost?
Take heart. Take my heart.
My hope for you will not stay in the tomb.
My hope for this world cannot be contained.
There is no crucible from which it cannot rise.

The depth of pain,
The nails of hate,
Even the denial of friends
Cannot hold the folds of darkness so firmly
That they refuse the new day,
Which is rising, even now.

And so, here is my blessing for you, this Easter morning:

May you rise from the many deaths you have encountered, strong and full and free
For this is the path I have opened for you.
My you hold my light of hope for the world to see.
May your fingers join the sun in searching out the mystery.
May you grasp hope as your talisman, as the abiding assurance of my love
That each day, each day, reaches out to you from the far horizon.

It is time for a resurrection.

Take it into your heart,
That I might live in you
That you might live in this world
And live it into resurrection, too.

[edited from photo by Sean MacEntee per cc 2.0]
[see also DONE! and Done]