Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Resurrection thoughts

Each year, around Easter, the folks over at Patheos invite responses to a question about the Resurrection.  Last year's question was, "Why do you need the Resurrection?", and this year's question was the more elemental, "Is the Resurrection for Real?" (e.g., Is it physical or spiritual?)

Various folks answered these two questions, in 100 words or less. For some reason, 100 words or less is an odd format that works for me, and I found the exercise really intriguing and thought-provoking.  Last year, it helped me to shape my Easter sermon, and both times it has forced me to enter into the story, and my story, more fully.

Here are my answers with links to the other responses.

I need the Resurrection
because my sister is sick
and can’t afford insurance,
because I’ve told a weeping Haitian mom,
“No, I can’t take your son home with me.”
because I’ve been rushed off a Jerusalem street
so a robot could blow up a bag that could’ve blown up us.
because I’ve exploded
in rage
and watched their tiny faces cloud with hurt.
because evil is pervasive
and I participate.
I need the Resurrection
because it promises
that in the end
all wrongs are made right.
Death loses.
Hope triumphs.
And Life and Love

(From the collection, Why I Need the Resurrection)

It had better be real.
As real as the contractions that ripped new life from my body.
As real as the rattle that strangled life out of his.
I’ve no use for a spiritual resurrection.
If Hope
for the drowned, damaged, disfigured, disowned,
is emotional ease,
if the pain of flesh and bones
is answered with mystical comfort,
if Guns are stronger than god,
then count me out.
But tell me that Death Loses,
tell me that Life Prevails,
and not in the abstract,
but in pulsing blood, flowing tears, thumping heart,
then the Resurrection
is Hope
for us all.

(From the collection,  Is the Resurrection for Real?)

If you'd like a Holy Week spiritual discipline, a way to wrestle with the meaning of Easter in your own life in these next few days, I invite you to sit down for a few minutes (at a computer, with a "word count" tool!) and consider the first question, and your life laid open in front of you, and see what comes of it.  
And so I ask you, in 100 words or less, Why do YOU need the Resurrection?


  1. Michelle WitherspoonApril 20, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    I think you're awesome, Kara. So, here's my gory attempt (in 99 words!)


    Wood floor and fresh paint
    remind me of blood
    soaking through carpet to cold concrete
    assaulting innocent walls (how?).

    Scars on his wrists
    remind me
    death is never far.

    Scars of my own,
    tell me it could happen again.

    But somehow. . .

    As I watched him recover
    slowly (and still. . . ),
    as his life seemed to hang by a tender thread,
    another life was growing in me,
    despite the weight of grief and trauma
    and fear
    that so nearly crushed me.

    I need the resurrection, because that tiny one,
    and two others,
    need me.

  2. Oh Michelle! This is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing it!

  3. Why I need the resurrection

    I need the resurrection

    If this is all there is

    The paying of the bills
    and stocking of the fridge

    The smogging of the car
    and slogging through the week. . .

    If life is a simple monotony
    with random bits of pain and joy thrown in
    Then bring on the lobotomy
    and please, dear, pass the gin

    Since life is a vapor
    and death, quite eternal
    Life promised after
    succors dark hearts

    Here, evil seems winning,
    but that's not the story
    Christ rose
    So will I
    to the bright and true glory. Amen.

    1 Cor. 15:16-20(the Message) If corpses can’t be raised, then Christ wasn’t, because he was indeed dead. And if Christ weren’t raised, then all you’re doing is wandering about in the dark, as lost as ever. It’s even worse for those who died hoping in Christ and resurrection, because they’re already in their graves. If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years, we’re a pretty sorry lot. But the truth is that Christ has been raised up, the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries.

    1. I'm not anonymous. I just can't ever remember any of the passwords and ids I need....Kelli


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