It’s a question I’ve heard many times over the years: “Do Christians really need to believe in Jesus’ resurrection?”
It is, after all, a pretty difficult idea to accept. And this is not just a modern difficulty. It’s been obvious to humans for a very long time that dead people stay dead.
Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.
I always love this joyful affirmation of life and hope on Easter morning. When it is still grey and cold outside, when the world news is so overwhelmingly negative, when many are dealing with losses and heartache, it is so amazing to be able to say: “Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.”
Sunset in Bethlehem (Photo by Brandi Friesen Thorpe)
The place for bleakness, twisted mourning, black.
I like this day, today,
How it holds permission to wallow and be in the dark,
To wander in the twisted depths.
“Crucified Woman” by Almuth Lutkenhaus-Lackey (Photo by Susie Guenther Loewen)
The sculpture above stands on the grounds of my theological college, Emmanuel College in Toronto, of the United Church of Canada. I used to walk by her almost daily, on my way to class or the library. She has become more and more meaningful to me as I’ve learned more about her and as my knowledge of feminist, womanist, and other liberation theologies has deepened. Now that I’ve moved away from Toronto, I miss her, and I find that she is missing from a lot of our theological reflection on the significance of the cross and Easter as well.
The resurrection as a peaceful response to violence. (16th-century engraving by Jean Tisserand, from Wikimedia Commons)
Here we are, a couple of weeks post-Easter, and I’m still thinking about the resurrection. Have you ever considered the resurrection as symbolic of peace and nonviolence? And don’t worry, I’m going somewhere with this—it’s not just another instance of the Mennonite tendency to reduce everything to either Jesus or peace!
Now that we’ve entered once again into the sombreness of Holy Week, I’d like to share a poem of mine which expresses some of my reflections on the cross, which I’ve shared on this blog before.
This Easter is going to be different.
I probably sound hypocritical stating how uncomfortable I am talking about death in one post and then writing about that very topic in another post. I didn’t plan on talking about it anymore, but lately, it’s all we’ve been talking about.
On Sunday, Boo came out of her Sunday school class proudly holding a colorful beaded cross. “It’s a cross,” she stated proudly. And then her whole face and demeanour changed. “Jesus died here. I am so sad. Jesus died. Why did Jesus have to die?”
At this moment, I am sitting in the warmth of a sunbeam, sipping a cup of tea, and enjoying a quiet afternoon while both my girls nap. What a glorious moment. Or, at least it would be, except for the dead ladybug sitting in a jar on the windowsill next to me.
It’s springtime. Dead bugs are a common presence around here. But this bug is different. For starters, she has a name. Odette. And she is loved dearly by my eldest daughter, Boo.