he Promise of the Resurrection
There is a quote by The Rev. Sarah Dylan Breuer about a fourfold Franciscan blessing, whose fourth blessing reads, “May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really can make a difference in this world, so that you are able, with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.”
In many ways our celebration of Easter is centered in Jesus, who dared to believe He could make a difference in the world, when others thought it would not be possible, practical or politically convenient. But Jesus commended Himself into God’s hands and He did what some folk still believe it couldn’t be done.
Today we celebrate and give praise to the victory of Life and Hope over Death and Despair, something that others claim that cannot be done or its impractical or naive.
And in tune with the beautiful melodies of Handel we sing with joy, “Hallelujah! for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. The kingdoms of this world is become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ: and He shall reign for ever and ever. King of Kings, and Lord of Lords!”
For in Christ’s Resurrection we are assured that nothing is final until God says it is final. For in Jesus we can see that believing and being true to the bitter end, nevertheless, it is not the end.
But as we celebrate the joy of resurrection, we should never forget that it is joy after death.
St Paul in one of the oldest Christian hymns puts it this way, “Though Jesus was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up his divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being… Finally, He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”
“Then, God gave Christ the highest place and honored his name above all others. So, at the name of Jesus everyone will bow down, those in heaven, on earth, and under the earth. And to the glory of God the Father everyone will openly agree, ‘Jesus Christ is Lord!’” (Philippians 2: 6-11).
It was only through the painful separation from his friends and family, the fiery agony of the Cross, and even the darkness of the valley of death, that Jesus Christ rose triumphant. “The Son of Man has to suffer many things,” Jesus warned his disciples. But he knew that the way of the cross was the only way to victory and – if that were to be possible – even closeness to God, His eternal Father.
By going through his own experience of desolation and death and then through His Resurrection, Jesus teaches us that if we allow to be shaped by God’s loving hands, we will be come out stronger, blessed, and empowered to carry on with our calling – to be witness to God’s everlasting goodness and his promise to never leave us alone.
We shall rise again. It will come true one day, we believe. And that’s right.
But the promise of the resurrection is for us, for the here and now. Like Jesus, we have been called to make a difference in this world. And because Jesus lives, we will also rise over the dark shadows of the present days, to do what others claim cannot be done and to grow even closer to the heart of God.
Risen Savior: You went through the dark alleys of death and returned living and triumphant. As I walk through the unknown ways of our present time, embrace me in your loving arms and bring me together with you to the glory of a new day of hope, peace, and joy. Amen.