Easter — Beyond the Speed of Life

by admin on March 28, 2016

Reflections for 28 March 2016
John 20:1-18

I love listening to Michael Feldman’s “Whaddaya Know?” It’s fun to have my thinking challenged, especially when I know the answers.

Speaking of whaddaya know—-here’s something I didn’t: I heard about the thinking that if you went in a space ship at the speed of light for twenty years you’d come back younger. It’s called Einstein’s Twin Paradox.

Life at the edge of the speed of light busts all human categories.

It made me think about thinking, and how easily I can decide if something is real; true; factual—if it fits my way of thinking.

Yet, we’ve all experienced time warp; paradox; something that doesn’t fit; yet because we’ve experienced it we need to make room.

Einstein created a stir—he blew the lid off the canons of science. That’s the problem with discoveries— they are always surpassed by the nature of making more discoveries.

How would you handle this: you’ve just stopped by our favorite florist, garden center. Got a wreath, grave blanket, some fresh cut flowers. Head over to the cemetery to decorate. You get there—-but they aren’t.
—-wrong section
—did they move here?
—-hey, somebody stole Aunt Ethel.
—maybe she wasn’t there anyway.

See how our thinking works. All answers to a missing grave based on the “truth” that Aunt Ethel is dead.

Easter is like that. A huge conundrum in human thinking. Maybe it isn’t Easter that’s the problem; maybe it isn’t us either. Maybe it’s Jesus.

That empty tomb thing? — The real discovery is: Jesus is loose.

Years ago I recall creating quite a stir with some folks, saying that Easter is Jesus is on the loose.

How about something more churchy? Like? Open on Sunday. The mall says that!

Is the Easter message the same as the mall’s message?

Many of my friends were uncomfortable. That’s why they put Jesus in a tomb. Rolled a stone to the door—to keep him inside.

But it’s busted open. He’s gone. Gone forward to Galilee; gone forward to God; gone forward on the loose.

So the question to ask is not “How?” But “Now What?”

Brief theology of Easter: It’s more than Jesus got up. It’s God raised Jesus—the God who came among us; the one who calls us to real living. The man who embodied forgiveness, reconcilation and love, and empowers his followers to live the same.

Easter is the single-handed act of God to this man in the face of evil and hatred.

Will Willamon tells the story of a man whose daughter was on her first day at work after college graduation. It was 9/11. She walked into the World Trade Center and never came out. He asks Willamon

• What do we believe about resurrection?
I’ve been a church goer all my life—I’ve never had to believe it—-til now. I’ve never needed it—til now.

Easter is about God spending his life in the war against the powers of destruction.

I’d love to tell you about the five airtight arguments, three proofs of the historical verifiability. The logic of absolute certainty about resurrection. But you see, I’ve got a problem with all that. And my problem is Jesus.

Recently someone asked me over a plate of eggs over easy and extra crisp bacon: How can you be so sure? So sure about all this Easter stuff? That’s what they pay you for, isn’t it? Yeah, right.

That’s a really good question—if you’re still slower than light speed. But what about being beyond the speed of life itself? Beyond the grave? Beyond Timex and Rolex time to God’s time.

A while back an old pastor buddy told about a divorced couple in his church. They sit together. With the kids. That’s enough to make you scratch your head. Because our thinking is always hunting for causes: It’s because they are psychologically healthy; doing the right thing for the kids; maybe they were never that mad.

So the preacher asked her: Do know what her answer was? Jesus.

Pretty much every day the Blade screams: Mideast Chaos Reigns. In light of this situation a reconciled couple is small potatoes. But do you see the exponential potential here? What would happen if the State Department adopted this thinking? What if Palestinians and Israelis? How about the US Senate? Both political parties and their offspring?

Yeah, I know. Bill, it’s more complicated that that. I know. But there’s something else I know, too. Forgiveness, reconciliation and love complexifies everything a whole lot more. Love your enemies. Yikes!!

Jesus is on the loose. The singular, most powerful force in the universe. More powerful that violence and hatred.

As Lent began this year I heard some preacher invite us to try Jesus for 30 days. I did…not perfectly. I am rethinking everything I was taught, or have come to believe is true about life, me, church, work, people.

I’ve toyed with the thought that it’s because I’m beyond middle age and a mid-life crisis; boomer guy thing; empty nester; retirement is a dream. Then again—that empty tomb deal—He’s loose…and not confined to churchy thing.

Another Will Willamon story doctor story….. Doctor prayed before surgery. For Scott; family; for me. Willamon chases the doc down: Wow. I’m impressed. I never heard a doc pray like that.

MD: Do you think it’s a good thing to do?

Willamon: Well yeah. But I understand we live in a pluralistic society….don’t want to offend anyone…see how he is thinking

MD: I wasn’t thinking of that. It’s just when you invite God into these situations you just don’t know what will happen. It’s always a risk.

Whoa!!! I never would have thought about thinking that way before—-til now. I never would have thought we could go beyond the speed of life—til now.

So, whaddya know about resurrection?
Have you never believed it—til now?
Have you never needed it—-til now?

Easter and Jesus’ Resurrection is living now beyond the speed of life.

Christ is Risen. He is risen indeed.

Jesus is on the loose—-now you be on the look out.

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