Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Week

Rain for Easter. Lilacs dripping in the cold early morning. Snow on the mountains. Restored sight for my husband after painless cataract surgery. I remember that such surgery left my grandfather blind thirty years ago. A call from a high school friend.  Dinner with old friends in Taos. An unexpected gift that was exactly what I needed. So many simple miracles crowned this resurrection weekend. As they should.

The sense I had in church was that of being gathered together in an ark. It was enough to be together, to smell the lilies, hear the alleluias, hear again the women weeping at the tomb, the men breathing faster as they stoop to look in and see...folded linens. Who folded them? Did Jesus do it before he ordered away the massive wheel of stone and strode or burst out into the rising sun? It makes me smile a little to think that he would stop to tidy up first. My mother would like that. Or maybe it was the two angels who Mary Magdalene found sitting at the head and foot of the stone shelf where his body had lain, making sure that it was perfectly clear that Jesus was gone, not from his body, but in his body.

I love the earthiness of the resurrection. I don't get it, in terms of biology. But it makes pretty good sense in terms of physics. If we are all energy, anyway (mass at the speed of light squared), then God can surely rearrange that energy which is his own, pull the elements back together in molecules, atoms and cells that creat that mighty buzz and hum we call life. The living body. The resurrection proclaims the body good. Later churchmen got it quite backwards, in their Platonic wrong-headed way. The body was always good. It was the willful mind that spoiled things. Jesus loved his incarnation. He came back to it, claimed it back from death. And made it possible that somehow in creation, all things will be made new. We will all get to claim back the innocence, the rightness of our original selves. Not apart from embodiment, but in it as it ought to be.

My view of the ultimate redemption of the world is half-baked and eccentric. It is this: Jesus' second coming does not happen because we eagerly make a mess of things to ensure it and finally blow up the present creation so that no one but him can fix it. It is rather the occasion, chosen by his sense of timing, not ours, of our second chance. The end that is really the beginning--when we get to start in on pollution, child slavery, the abuse of women, men, the poor, animals, water, soil, air, the economic inequity that is the root cause of war. It's when we finally get to realize our long-held dreams that poverty curtailed, our great ideas that political expediency denied.

It is our hands that remake the creation, that rewind the great reel back to its original innocence. But only because it's His hand that guides ours in renewing the world. All the possible wondrous inventions will be turned to good--like spears hammered into pruning hooks. The earth will flourish, life will be creativity and joy and work that is praise. Our suffering and sighing will be no more, because God walks again with humankind and helps us end all the evil we have made, so that there is nothing more to report but...good news.

Happy Easter. The Lord is risen. He is risen indeed. 

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