Resurrection Here and Now
Resurrection Here and Now
An Easter Monday Meditation
On that first Easter morning God’s new world began. The old world is still with us, still dying, but the new world is here too; the age to come has already begun!
Or as G.K. Chesterton put it…
On the third day the friends of Christ coming at daybreak to the place found the grave empty and the stone rolled away. In varying ways they realized the new wonder; the world had died in the night. What they were looking at was the first day of a new creation, with a new heaven and a new earth; and in a semblance of a gardener God walked again in the garden, in the cool not of the evening but the dawn.
But what of it? Or as Francis Schaeffer might put the question, how should we then live?
If we are Christians, we should live out of our baptismal identity — we should live as a people who have already died to the old age and already joined Christ in the age to come.
This is what it means to be a baptized person — it means we have been hurled into the future.
Baptism is a portal to the age to come.
In the land of death the baptized are to embody resurrection.
So what does it mean to live here and now as sons and daughters of the resurrection?
It means we leave the age of darkness and death behind. We demonstrate the coming age of new creation here and now.
Christian holiness is not based on a moralistic legal code, but on the fact that we are from the age to come.
That which belongs to the old age of sin and death, the sons and daughters of resurrection are to be done with here and now.
We are to embody Life. LIFE. LIFE!
We are to be…
Pro New Creation.
As a people baptized into resurrection and embodying the age to come we leave behind…
The convenience-based killing called abortion.
The revenge-based killing called death penalty.
The state-sponsored organized killing called war.
The exploitation of women called pornography.
The exploitation of the poor called cheap labor.
The exploitation of the environment called profitability.
And so on.
To manifest resurrection here and now is to be pro life.
Who would Jesus abort?
Who would Jesus execute?
Who would Jesus kill?
Who would Jesus degrade?
Who would Jesus exploit?
Who would Jesus poison?
We know the answer (theoretically).
The body of Christ is to live the answer (corporally).
We are to be the flesh and blood embodiment of resurrection realities.
This (in part) is what it means to be a baptized, Eucharistic, sacramental people pointing the way to God’s redemptive future.
So as Wendell Berry says, practice resurrection!
Christ is Risen!
Here’s Wendell Berry’s wonderful poem that concludes with the words “practice resurrection.”
Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front
by Wendell Berry
Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion – put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
(The artwork is Van Gogh’s Irises.)