Easter Sunday reflection



You have your breath
the exhale
the inhale
this life force that gently and quietly and unassumingly surges through you
and out

Your breath enters and then leaves your body
and your body is made up of all these molecules
which make up these cells
which make up these systems
You are this odd blend of soul and spirit, dust and bone
you have hair and eyelids and toes and elbows and knees and opinions
and you make assumptions and you have expectations

You are this potluck of emotions and feelings and physicality
You are part mountain and part ocean and part

You are a fascinating endless mystery and then you move about
this world
and there is cement and taxes
and there is your insurance agent and there is the person you buy bread from
and you have people that you love and you have people who are like human sandpaper
they annoy you to no end
There are people you embrace you embrace on a regular day
and there are people that you pass by one on a street in a large city on the other side of the world and you will never be close to them again as long as you live

You live in this body with this breath that comes
and goes
and then in this body you experience this world with wind and waves and trees and rocks and deserts
and mountains

It's all part of what you call your life
and in these experiences with this breath coming and going
and in this body, with these people that you know and this set of circumstances that is called
your life
you have these experiences and some of these experiences fill you with hope
and with life

Sometimes it's a beautiful song
Sometimes it's holding the hand of your young daughter
Sometimes it's sitting by the bed as your grandfather takes his last breath
Sometimes it's a holiday meal with relatives
Sometimes it's friends from school
Sometimes it's that moment at work where you get the sense that what you're doing

We have these moments of meaning, these moments of substance
these moments when we think "yes, there is a point to this"

And then there are the other moments

The moments of despair
the moments when it doesn't go well
There are the long cold silences

There is that thing that happens when the alarm goes off in this morning and you think "another day"

There is that thing that happens when you are driving to work and you think "why? what's the point?"

There is that small habit that grew and grew until now it's like a destructive pattern
you don't know what to do with it

And so what happens ever so gradually
if we do not guard our hearts
is that we come to be gradually overtaken by this pervasive sense that there might not be a point to it

underneath it all it actually is random and pointless

And so what happens is those good, beautiful, true, moving, inspiring moments
the lump in the throat
the tear in the eye
that sense when you embrace somebody and it feels like you're holding the Universe in your hands

Those moments start to feel like they're just little detours
and escapes from how it really is
Which is cold, dark, lonely, and pointless

Resurrection is the opposite

Resurrection says oh, no, no, no, no, no. Those glimpses, those are actually the real thing
They're the thing that undergird the whole thing
Just that moment when that person said that kind word and it ignited a whole new world in your heart
That was just an aberration from how things are
That was a sign, a symbol, a glimpse, a glance of how it actually is

Resurrection says that this is our home and that our home is good
Resurrection says that not only is our home good
but everything about our home that is wrong, twisted, broken, destructive, flawed, and failed
everything about it
whether it may hurt and whether it may be something like cancer that is real
and however big the bruise is
and however much blood there is on the floor
whatever it is
however real it is
and however much it broke your heart
it is, in the end, in some really, really hard to describe way

That in fact, there is a new creation bursting forth
right here in the middle of this one
and there is a new heaven and a new earth coming together
and that this Jesus, in his resurrection insists that in the conquering of death
he has brought about something new
something you can trust
that whatever is holding you down
whatever feels like it's drowning you
whatever feels like it's a weight chained to your ankle
does not have the last word

That is resurrection

Now, a guy rising from the dead 2,000 years ago
can I prove that happened?

No, no one can
and be very suspicious of anybody who says they can prove that
and be especially suspicious of sermons where people spend 45 minutes proving to you that a man actually rose from the dead
Nobody knows

What we know is there has been a community of people for several thousand years
who insist that something happened
that a tomb is empty
and that when you trust this story something will be unleashed
and unlocked in your heart
and in your life

So yes, it's history
but it's a bigger, better, wider, more expansive understanding of history

So for those who think "What? Come on. How far fetched is that?"
Try it
Try living in this story
Try trusting that all those little glimpses and glances of hope and beauty and truth and light
That they weren't aberrations
They weren't mistakes
They weren't some blip in the system
They were actually showing you what it's really like
That this new life is as close as the breath you just took
and the breath you're about to take


Thistled ground 
Tomb of my love 
Heart torn apart 
Coming God 
Soften the soil 
Tend now the scars 

Your love breaks us open 
Resurrects a garden 
A garden 

‘Love’, you said 
Poured out like wine 
Broken like bread 
Waken us 
Enliven our minds 
Unearth the dead 

Rend this heart of stone and mend it into flesh 
Let your love bring me to life 
Yield this hardened earth until a garden spills the ground 
And brings us back to life 

Your love breaks us open 
Resurrects a garden 
A garden