Sunday, May 1, 2016

Easter (resurrection) Continues

Today is Easter Sunday (Pascha) for Orthodox Christians.  This Easter date is based on the Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar used by most western churches.  I think it was Martin Luther who said that every Sunday should be a little Easter—a celebration of resurrection—so the date doesn’t really matter.  The important thing is that we experience resurrection in our lives.  Every day should be a little Easter—a celebration of both the Resurrection of Christ and our own resurrections!

When I use the word “Resurrection” with the initial capital letter, I mean the rising of Jesus after his death and burial.  When I use the word “resurrection” without the initial capital letter I’m referring to the experience of a person rising again from some disaster or catastrophe, or from some death-like form of living.  I’m quite comfortable with the terms “born again” and “re-creation” as synonyms for resurrection. The familiar words from the Parable of the Prodigal Son or from the hymn, Amazing Grace, illustrate this resurrection:  “For this son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found (Luke 15)” and  “I once was lost, but now am found…was blind, but now I see (Amazing Grace).”  
“Easter,” writes Fritz Kunkel in his book, Creation Continues, “rebirth, the new phase of creation, is either a convincing inner experience which changes our character and our life, or it is nothing at all.”  

Since it is Orthodox Easter Day, I want to quote Nikos Kazantzakis, one of my favorite authors, and his experience of resurrection.  “When I awoke, I was no longer the same person, because formerly I had not known, and now I knew.  I kept asking myself how a dream could change a man’s life.  It does not change it, I replied; it simply announces that the change has taken place.”  When the “Beyond Within” becomes reality, resurrections are bound to occur.  Take note of your resurrections—they happen every day!

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