Eager for Resurrection? Me too. Let’s Take a Look Around!
“This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?… All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs.”
-Romans 8:15-16, 22-24; The Message by Eugene Peterson
Maybe it is because I have found myself joining with the chorus of winter lament, but I have found myself eager for spring. I mean EAGER. Not just interested, not just hoping, but eager to see signs that there is a turning around of the weight of this season that seems to have gone on far too long.
I wonder if this longing is about more than just the weather. Maybe it is the season of Lent that has lasted just long enough for me to get in touch with myself and recognize my need for release from the deadness that honest self-reflection brings to light. Maybe I am ready for a power larger than my own to carry me to a place that I cannot accomplish on my own. Maybe I am discovering that there is something new in me that urgently waits to be born.
Or could it be that I am simply tired of the weight of the world? One disaster of nature and humanity layered on top of another in unending succession. Maybe that has buried my spirit, and maybe yours too? But there is something else. Something that will not let this weight of the world with all its death dealing be the final word, keeps arousing something deep within me.
Left to myself I am sure that this holy pulse would have been snuffed out a long time ago. But fortunately I am not left to myself and neither are you. That something that will not let the weight of winter or the world bury you or me for good, is already at work fashioning resurrection. As I write this, I know that I am jumping ahead of things a bit. But maybe you need just a little sign, a little reminder that there is a springtime of spirit just around the corner.
Oh yes, there are tiny signs of resurrection all around. These buds caught my attention just today. They stopped me in my tracks and begged me to step aside from my preoccupation with all that is wrong and savor for just a moment the truth that there is a larger work going on in creation and in me and in you! I paused and a prayer not of my own making arose and reminded me to keep my eyes and my heart open. There is always more to see, to savor, to celebrate.
I know because as I have seen these signs of resurrection as I preach in congregations around the conference. I am also getting a chance to hear stories of how these faith communities have strengthened the lives of folks near and far. These stories are like buds in springtime. My heart is awakened. I have been recording some of these stories and look forward to sharing some of them soon. In the meantime, what stories are just beneath the surface of your life or that of someone in your faith community? Take a good look. Have a good listen. You might just discover resurrection! Yes, Yes! Yes!
Your partner in ministry,
Rev. Dave Long-Higgins, Transitional Conference Minister