Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Day for Resurrection

So here is something to reflect on. It comes from an interesting and challenging book, My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer by Christian Wiman. First, the quote:

Christ is not an answer to existence, but a means of existing. (p. 91)
Not knowing where it came from, it can seem like one of those bumper sticker theological statements.
(Note: I am not opposed to short, pithy statements of theology. It's just that many times people use them to make something simplistic, rather than concise. This one is concise.)
It is concise because it comes from one who was an agnostic, perhaps even an atheist, for many years. What's more he is a poet who does not use words unwisely. He chooses his statements with reality in mind. His reality, he has come to see is that there's more to Christ than making him an answer (like bumper stickers try to do.) There is no question to which Christ is the answer other than, for a Christian, this one:
How then does one exist?
And there is the answer- Christ.

Note he doesn't say Jesus. This is a statement of resurrection, life here and forever. This is the Christ, not the wandering Rabbi and miracle worker. Or at least, not JUST the wandering Jesus. In life after Easter, Jesus is not the answer. Christ leads us elsewhere, deeper, to far more profound place than we even know to ask about.

Listen to more of Wiman:
Instead of a resurrection that frees us from this-world thinking... Contemporary Christianity all too often preaches an idea of a resurrection that is little more than a means of projecting our paltry selves ad infinitum, and the result is a grinning, self-aggrandizing, ironclad kind of happiness that has no truth in it. (p. 167)
That knocked more than my socks off and knocked me into a different way of seeing my faith. The resurrection that we  I often have preached, lacks the test of real truth. It was only when Jesus left them that they began to see. That's not just an extension of life here-and-now. That is a new existence.

How then, on this Lord's Day, the weekly Day of Resurrection, did Christ become my way of existing? How did The Christ move me into His existence and out of mine? Maybe I need to meditate on that thought this week. Perhaps I need to allow Christ's existence to show me how to exist.

Thanks be to God!

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