New Life

And they remembered his words.
— Luke 24:8

Easter Sunday greeted us with brilliant sunshine, a warmth that carried us through the day as echoes of worship rang in our ears. I write as it threatens to rain, April’s showers finally bringing our tulips to bloom in the front yard, a message themselves of bursting forth after being buried. A robin creates her new nest on the pine tree outside my office window, pieces of hay and straw making up her home from the yard a few doors down that used the same materials for grass seed protection. Spring is truly here, something that we Michiganders wait to proclaim until after the freak weekend of heat that switches into another fresh blanket of new snow. It was not yet, but now it is here.

I love the liturgy the old Church calendar offers us, embodied practices that allow for somatic remembrance. Yet, in the aftermath of the massive celebration, good weather, and back to mundane that Monday brings, I forget all too easily that Easter is a truth carried out for everyday, a daily liturgy that we put on as Jesus’ people. This message changes everything, death having not only been put to death, but a hope for what can come out of death: glory.

Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them were telling the apostles these things. But these words seemed like nonsense to them, and they did not believe the women.
— Luke 24:10-11

I’d like to say I am the women of this story, these bold, audacious people of God. I love how this passage even tells us of how much we miss out when we do not listen to the voices of women. But I tend to find myself with the doubting disciples, people to truly be pitied as they refuse the generous miracle that is being held out to them. Much like them, because I don’t see an open tomb personally, I do not take the good news being offered to heart. I often look at the clear resurrection gifts in my own life and call them nonsense, losing sight of the promises that clearly find their yes in Jesus. I follow the logic of the world, calling hope and new life foolish as I beg for them in intercession. When those gifts show his face, I turn aside, I refuse as I don’t understand the other-worldly ways even after twenty years of walking these truths.

Even this Sunday for us was a rebirth, another step of faith, a hope of new life on the other side of death. Firmly calling a new church our official home felt like allowing ourselves to be wounded again, the wounds forever a part of our bodies as Jesus’ body tells the same story. Yet, in order for us to fully participate in Christ’s body, we know full well it involves the tangible step of being a part of the Bride, of partaking in the Supper, of foolishly hoping for glory to show His face. Thank goodness we did not get too wise.

So we pray with scars visible for light to shine through. We feel like infants again, crawling and helpless, dependent while wailing as we just don’t know how to vocalize the language of our need. And our wounded healer comes, the One who made us, who could be called foolish Himself for saving our not-sorry souls, to let us feel for ourselves the ways in which he loves us by pierced side. He has given new life again and again.