April 8, 2007

to be w/o hope...

As we have done for several years, Brooke and I woke up early this morning, got the kids up and headed to the beach to meet with several other people to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Even though it was overcast, it was a refreshing, long over-due moment. Reflecting on the morning, Brooke and I both agreed that a sense of peace came over both of us as we sat around the fire pit, listening to and watching the waves, sitting amongst friends and family.

Most of us there this morning are amidst great transitions in our lives, yet being together was like a warm blanket-a sense of safety and hope was present... Hope. It's a word commonly used around Christian holidays-although often without much sincerity. Honestly, hope has been a bit elusive to me recently. This morning, I craved hope. I longed for the return of hope to the center of my being.

It's funny, on Easter Sunday, we still talk about the cross a lot. Even though this day is to commemorate the resurrection of Christ-the defeat of death, churches all over retell a beleaguered crucifixion narrative. What does the cross signify? Death. In the cross, Christ related to that which we all experience daily: death. Death surrounds us, we age-growing closer to death, we watch the news and death abounds, we look to nature and we see death there too. Maybe this is why I treasure the resurrection so much. It signifies the defeat of Death. It reminds us that we too can participate in bringing about a reality that abounds in life rather than death. Abundant life: enough 'life' for everyone.

Yes, I know that for many the cross signifies redemption. But for me, right now, it is the moment where Christ reveals his humanity in its most raw form, he accepts death. This I can relate to. I have seen death much more than I thought I could handle in the last year. We all can relate to death and dying when we're honest with ourselves. But this is exactly why I need the resurrection. It offers me a glimpse of hope, a dream, an alternative idea. It proclaims that death can in fact be defeated, that there is just as much another way to die as there is another way to live. It cries out, 'I will not be defined by this empty, shallow idea of existence!'

More than anything, that is what I want deep within my bones today. To be honest, I am not quite there right now. I feels as though the giant called, Death is standing in front of me, pressing his chest up against me, attempting to intimidate me. I am not without fear, but I am not backing down and I've quite frankly just about had enough of his shit. But I'm waiting for the right moment to swing. Yes, tough talk. I admit I'm still shaking and a little weak in the limbs but I'm not backing down quite yet. Hope is worth fighting for.

I love and am loved by many who find no significance in Christianity. I've been thinking about many of those friends today. I think they too can celebrate the resurrection. Certainly, the resurrection isn't logical. It's ridiculous. But it is a narrative, a story to enter into, that is certainly more enticing than the story commonly told within the lives of most Western people. Many cannot stomach a place called "Church" or the title "Christian"... quite, frankly, I don't blame most people that feel this way and often I'm one of them. But even if this defines us, I grow more and more convinced that we can still can find hope in Jesus' teachings, life, death and resurrection. Is it just stories? I don't really care. For me, it doesn't really change that his is the pattern of life I choose to embrace and attempt to model in my own. Even for those of us who doubt, I think truth, life and a path can be found-sometimes in surprising ways-in living after his example.

And so, today I long for hope. I wish to find it and I wish the same for you. May we all be resurrected from death, from the mundane, from complicity, from woundedness, from indifference, from unhealthiness, from our brokenness. Amen.

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