09 April 2012

Christos Anesti Now What?

Yesterday, gloriously, we welcomed the news: Christos Anesti! Christ is Risen!

Now what?

The 50 days between Easter and Pentecost always seems to pass more quickly than the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter. In some part that is because we are not asked to focus on prayer and fasting during the season of Easter. In part it is because we do not as a culture pay much attention to the question -- now what?

Almost no one offers Pentecost sales. You are not told that you need a new Pentecost outfit to attend the services. And in fact, many people do not attend. Most people in our secular society won't think much about the proclamations of the church until Christmas sales with their incessant replay of two or three carols (what is it about the Little Drummer Boy?) begins. In fact for many, the reaction today is probably, "Finally that is over!"

Consider the apostles' reactions. They too thought it was over. The dream, a restored creation under the kingship of God, and the leadership of Jesus and (of course) his disciples, the end of the competing empires of Rome and Persia, was over. The Romans clearly did not see that dream as a good thing. Rome reacted as Rome generally did - if you perceive a new way of doing things: kill it.

Given first century Roman sedition law, after the execution of Jesus; any disciple identified to Roman authorities was automatically subject to the same fate. As you consider that; find it possible to sympathize with Peter a bit. I know I might have denied my discipleship rather than facing the cross!

So there were the disciples, aware that the dream was over, terrified of the Roman authorities looking at the best way to just sort of fade into the general population of first century Palestine. No wonder Peter wanted to go fishing! It was as it is now for so many: over.

Along come Mary Magdalene (No she was NOT a former hooker!) Mary, and Salome claiming Jesus was resurrected. Remember that sedition law. Women, unless they were Roman citizens, could be crucified. The disciples may have thought them mad.

Small wonder that the gospels agree that the disciples were neither impressed, nor pleased. They in fact began to scatter -- clearly the safest thing to do.

The Spirit had other ideas. The apostles are repeatedly confronted by the risen Christ, and after those events; coalesce in Jerusalem, and experience Pentecost. Then they get busy.

They got so busy they eventually converted an empire. Oh the conversion took three centuries, and the road was difficult, blood soaked and slow. It would have its disappointments, and losses. On the way, the all inclusive love and the elevation of all into one people would be partially lost -- Satan and the cult of dominance kept trying. Today as we attempt to recover what the kingdom lost over those centuries; we still encounter the elitists, misogynists, homophobes, and racists. None-the-less, the truth of the Resurrection, that Christ died for All keeps bursting through.

And there is the answer to my question. The answer to "What now?" is "Get busy!" Get busy with your own prayer life. (You were working on it in Lent weren't you?) Get busy in your life make it a journey of love and reconciliation: abandon the dominance empire. Then get busy working on the world at large.

Jesus is coming back we claim. And the Spirit is among us now, as we will celebrate in fifty days. Now is the time to pay attention to that incredible news the women brought -- He is Risen Indeed. Get busy.


No comments:

St Laika's

Click to view my Personality Profile page