What Has He Risen To?

The Lord is Risen!

Such exciting words, such a joyful song.

Our hope and our salvation reside in those words.

And for some, that is the end of the story. Jesus is risen, and we are saved.

But are we?

Is it that simple?

Plenty of folks would say that it is.

The evangelist Luke says as much in the words he places in Peter’s mouth:

 that everyone who believes in him
will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.”  (Acts 10:43)

Plenty of evangelicals today tell you that you are saved if you are “born again”, accepting Christ as your savior.

And Paul, worse yet, encourages us to ignore the world that surrounds us.

If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. (Col 3:1-3)

All this will pass, seek heavenly things.

Yet we live in this place and time, living human lives. And we bear the responsibility for what we have “created”.

Jesus rises today to find a world divided in more ways than we can count.

We divide ourselves into “kinds” of Christians and “kinds” of people. We are “kinds” of religions, and “kinds” of political systems. We are “kinds” of economic plans, and “kinds” of social networks. We are all about division and exclusion and us and them and we and they and me and the Other.

Did Jesus rise for this?

Are we once saved, forever saved?

Do we then go back to lives of cheating and lying, and mistreating of others? Do we claw to the top of whatever world we seek over the backs of those less able? Do we clutch in our hands all that we have and guard against sharing it, except most begrudgingly?

Do we decide how it is best to live and be and then demand that others conform to our standard of right?

Did Jesus rise for this?

Are we once saved, forever saved?

Do we invoke His name as a hammer to beat our “opponents” into submission. Do we use our religion as a wedge to force others to conform? Do we twist and warp history, using, always using, faith as some barometer of goodness? Do we say it, and not think about any of its implications?

Did Jesus rise for this?

Are we once saved, forever saved?

John informs us that the disciple whom Jesus loved came to the empty tomb.

and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture
that he had to rise from the dead. (Jn 20: 8-9)

If he did not understand the meaning of the scriptures, then what was it he believed? What did he have faith in?

They believed, or retained their loyalty to all that Jesus had stood for, had lived for, and had finally died for.

He died for love and justice and equality, and fairness, and gentleness, and sympathy, and compassion, and brother/sister-hood, and caring, and laughter, and helping each other, and empathy, and peace, and for joy and kindness.

That is what he rose for.

And we are not saved unless every day we do our best to embody all those things. We are not saved unless we struggle with the issues that divide,  and overcome them. We are not saved unless we embrace humanity and realize that not a single one is excluded. We are not saved until we take ownership of all that we have created, and work to fix it all–to make amends for all the harm and ugliness we have allowed to happen.

We are not saved until we beg forgiveness of each other.

We are not saved until we forgive ourselves.

We are not saved until we finally LOVE HIM enough to BE HIM in the fullest way we mere mortals can.

Amen, and Happy and Joyous Easter.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. athornamongmany
    Apr 08, 2012 @ 10:37:04

    Amen.

    Reply

  2. Tim
    Apr 09, 2012 @ 14:49:52

    Sherry, I apologize for not getting here sooner. Yet your Easter words are just as vibrant the day after–as challenging and true, because they are timeless.

    How right you are, Jesus’s death and resurrection are not for nothing. And we who claim to be living witnesses of them cannot shirk our responsibility to live them out in our daily lives. It is not a one-time thing, but an ongoing duty–a joy more than a burden, as living resurrected lives opens our minds to true life.

    You have stepped into Mary Magdalene’s shoes this day and brought us the Good News with raw force that reminds us of Easter’s promise that we can be changed for the better–not only for our good but for the good of humankind and the world.

    Many blessings and much gratitude,
    Tim

    Reply

    • Sherry
      Apr 10, 2012 @ 11:02:06

      No apology required Tim, It was Easter after all. You mentioned Mary Magdalne, and she is one of my most favorite persons from the bible. May we all follow in discipleship as she did. Many blessings. Sherry

      Reply

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