This post is part of the April Synchroblog. In honor of Easter, this month’s topic is living the resurrection. Links to fellow bloggers will appear at the end of this post.
As Christians, we wonder how to live out the resurrection. We would love it if Jesus being raised from the dead meant that we would always be in a place of green fertility, newness, and wholeness. But that is just birth, not rebirth. I believe that living the resurrection means embracing the entire cycle of life, death, and rebirth.
We enjoy spring, when things are beautiful and we see life everywhere. Perhaps this is when our faith is new and fresh. Maybe it’s when we first fall in love with someone, or it’s a ministry we’ve begun that we are passionate about, or it’s a new job that we feel like we were born to do. But these experiences will mature and change; it’s as certain as death and taxes, to paraphrase Ben Franklin. Living the resurrection during spring means holding our experiences with a light touch as they change, grow, and emerge, and not grasping at the first excitement as the ultimate fulfillment of our vision.
In summer, our passions are no longer new, but they are thriving. I guess we feel and see God working during this season. We can tell people about the things that God is doing within us and around us. As the season goes on, we go blueberry picking, and we suffer some itchy chigger bites from crawling in the bushes, but it’s worth it because we get to eat and share yummy blueberry pie. Living the resurrection here means persevering through the battle scars and both enjoying and sharing the “fruit” that is showing up. But, again, it means knowing that the fruit won’t last forever.
While we are still harvesting, leaves start to change, and we start to see signs that death is coming. Death comes differently for us all the time. Sometimes we don’t see it coming; we are blindsided by a loss of health or being “downsized” from our job. Other times it creeps up on us slowly, like, for me, realizing that it was time to leave Bahrain after 11 years. Then death is upon us.Through faith, we grieve, while remembering that “blessed are those who mourn.” (Matt. 5:4) With one hand we let go of what we have lost, and with the other hand we hold on to the knowledge that there is no resurrection without death.
Then, rest. Watch. Wait. Nothing external is happening. We see no evidence of God’s work in our lives. We have lost what we thought he had given us. Undertaking the spiritual equivalent of “rebound dating” will not be fruitful. Resurrection is not something we make happen. It is something we wait for. For a whole season. It’s quiet. The only things happening are so far under the surface that sometimes we don’t believe anything is occurring. When we live in resurrection, we let it be quiet during the winter. We wait as changes beyond our control take place beyond the reach of our vision.
But the resurrection does come. At last. After a long winter, we start to see new things growing. Perhaps this should be the most obvious season of resurrection, but in some ways it is the most deceptive. Our caterpillar died, and we may be looking for him to be raised as a fresh new caterpillar. But instead he emerges as a butterfly. The seed that was buried does not push out of the ground as a seed; all the potential that was hidden inside that seed is what peeks out of the ground. Living the resurrection is holding open our expectations, because the new incarnation of God’s dreams for us won’t look like what we imagined.
Rather than being a place, or an outward manifestation that we live in, resurrection is something that we carry in our hearts through all the seasons. It enables us to be present with each season without holding tightly onto any of them.
In this metaphorical year of my life, where I have said good-bye to so much of who I was and what I expected of God by leaving Bahrain, I feel that I am nearing the end of winter. I’m starting to see hints that life is showing up again. I still don’t know what that will look like, so I want to keep my eyes open to see beyond my expectations.
Would you share what season you are in and how you are living the resurrection in that season?
Check out the other great posts for this month’s synchroblog:
Phil Wyman at Square No More – Apocalyptic fervor spurs benevolent giving
Marta Layton at Marta’s Mathoms – Getting Out From Behind The Rock
Mike Victorino at Simply A Night Owl – Crawling Out From Under A Rock
John Paul Todd at E4Unity – Still Asleep In the Light
Patrick Oden at Ravens – A Resurrection
Brambonius at Brambonius’ blog in english – hiding the Resurrection life like a candle under a bucket?
George Elerick at The Love Revolution – (for)getting the resurrection
Liz Dyer at Grace Rules – I Will Answer That Question In A Minute, But First, I Want To Talk About Jesus
Jeff Goins at Jeff Goins Writer – Resurrection
Tammy Carter at Blessing the Beloved – Rock and a Hard Place
Kathy Escobar at the carnival in my head – little miracles
Alan Knox at the assembling of the church – Living The Resurrected Life
Christine Sine at Godspace – Palm Sunday Is Coming But What Does It Mean
Matt Stone at Glocal Christianity – Living The Resurrection
Steve Hayes at Khanya – Descent into Hell and penal substitution
Bill Sahlman at Creative Reflections – Do We Live Under a Rock of Belief?