The Herb Of Grace

Theology and Poetry, Politics and Prose

Start and Stop: Tracing the Octave March 26, 2008

Filed under: Easter,public theology — Joel @ 3:00 pm

In this reflection, I want to spell out what I understand the resurrection of Jesus to be.  I am going to try to say in a way that is concise and memorable for few reasons.  First, I know people are not reading this, they are hearing it; second, I believe more and more that if the greatest truths cannot be explained simply then perhaps they are not the greatest truths; thirdly, most of us Christians walk around in a fog concerning the cross and the resurrection of Jesus, who we call Lord.  The fog is one of mass cultural confusion.  This fog has descended because there have been many messages about the resurrection instead of a few.  Now I am not assuming that I will now proclaim one of those few, but I am going to try.  I am going to try because I think the truth about the resurrection of Jesus is the most wonderful, the most humble, and the most powerful event ever to happen.

                In my opinion, there are things we need to stop doing and things we need to start doing in order to believe in the resurrection of Jesus:

1.        Stop saying “resurrection,” start saying, “the resurrection of Jesus.”

2.       Stop thinking of the resurrection as something nice Jesus did for you and start thinking of it as the beginning of a new society, into which you are called.

3.       Stop thinking that believing that the resurrection happened means you are saved and start thinking that believing in the resurrection of Jesus means that you now have a new example of how to live in the world and a new example of how to die in the world.

4.       Stop seeing the resurrection as only relevant for the heart, for the inside person; start seeing the politics of the resurrection:  Imitating God flips the scales of this world, putting the weak first and the strong second, putting others first and my own safety and security second, putting my trust in God first, my fear of death (from which my violence springs) second.


2 Responses to “Start and Stop: Tracing the Octave”

  1. R.O. Flyer Says:

    I love this Joel. I especially like the first one because it emphasizes the particularity and temporal nature of the resurrection of Jesus. It is a particular person who God raised from the dead and this person is also the second person of the Trinity in whom the world was created.

    I like how you tie the resurrection to the church. I often wonder about the location of the resurrected body of Jesus. Jesus is at the right hand of the Father, but we also speak of the church as “the body of Christ” and the eucharist as the “body of Christ.” This is something worth exploring I think. What do we mean by this language?

  2. Matt Wiebe Says:

    Good thoughts Joel. I especially like the simple profundity of point #1. It’s not any old resurrection, it’s the resurrection of Jesus, the God-man. It is not some abstract thing that happened out there somewhere, but a concrete event that happened to a specific person at a particular moment in history… a moment that has changed, is changing and will change everything.

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