12 Ways to Practice Resurrection Now
If someone were to ask you, “What is the meaning of Easter?” how would you respond? Not what happened, but what does it mean? What does it mean for you? Here. Now. How does it impact the way you live your life?
A few years ago I asked that question to a number of my friends and colleagues. The most common answer was something similar to this: Jesus died for our sins and overcame death and sin forever – for everyone, and that means we get to go to heaven someday.
While that may be true, I wonder if Easter means something else. Something different. Bigger… not just somewhere down the road, but right now. Today.
Scott Colglazier, a Disciples minister in L.A., once said this about Easter: “It’s all right if your starting place is two thousand years ago. But don’t linger there too long. Easter is about what God is doing now. Right here. Right now. Today. An Easter of the past is not much of an Easter at all.”
We all long for resurrection in our lives in some way, shape or form. For some of us it is in our marriage or our relationship with our kids. For others it is longing for life after addiction or betrayal. Some just want to live with the notion that tomorrow doesn’t have to be like yesterday. Still others just want to truly believe that compassion matters and that God is acting in this world.
This time each year we gather around the conviction that the world’s brokenness is not finally what is most real and true. We gather around the conviction that God has not given up on the world, and that this world matters.
Each year we boldly claim that there has been a resurrection and there is a whole new creation bursting forth right here, right now, right in the middle of this one! But seeing it and living into it takes practice.
Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest and popular author and speaker, offers us 12 Ways to Practice Resurrection Now:
1. Refuse to identify with negative, blaming, antagonistic, or fearful thoughts (you cannot stop ''having'' them).
2. Apologize when you hurt another person or situation.
3. Undo your mistakes by some positive action toward the offended person or situation.
4. Do not indulge or believe your False Self-that which is concocted by your mind and society's expectations.
5. Choose your True Self-your radical union with God-as often as possible throughout the day.
6. Always seek to change yourself before trying to change others.
7. Choose as much as possible to serve rather than be served.
8. Whenever possible, seek the common good over your mere private good.
9. Give preference to those in pain, excluded, or disabled in any way.
10. Seek just systems and policies over mere charity.
11. Make sure your medium is the same as your message.
12. Never doubt that it is all about love in the end.
I’m always moved by these words from Peter Gomes, former professor and chaplain at Harvard Divinity School, and one of the finest preachers of our generation: "Easter is not just about Jesus; it is about you. He has already claimed his new life; now is your chance to claim yours!"
He is risen. Hallelujah and Amen.