“Rolling Away the Stone” by Sarah Gilbert
In the tomb of the soul, we wrap ourselves in the security of darkness.
Sometimes this is a comfort, Sometimes it is an escape. Sometimes it prepares us for experience. Sometimes it insulates us from life.
Sometimes this tomb-life gives us time to feel the pain of the world and reach out to heal others.
Sometimes it numbs us and locks us up with our own concerns.
In this season where light and dark balance the day, we seek balance for ourselves.
Grateful for the darkness that has nourished us, we push away the stone and invite the light to awaken us to the possibilities within us and among us-possibilities for new life in ourselves and in our world."
Easter begins with the empty tomb; Easter begins with despair and fear; Easter begins with a sense of emptiness of nothingness. In the account in Mark’s Gospel when the women go to the tomb and find it empty they flee in terror and say nothing. The real miracle is in what follows, the power of love that comes to life from nothingness, from the emptiness.
This is our task I believe, our religious task, to once again bring the love that was so evidently present in the life of Jesus alive once again in our oh so human flesh. We can do it, we do not have to be afraid, we do not need to flee in fear, we just need courage gentle courage and this will sustain us. We just need to fill the empty tomb with that abundant love that is present in all life, fill it to overflowing and then let it pour out in all of life…
We need to awaken to the new possibilities, we can start living at any time once again...
These thoughts bring to mind the following wisdom from “What Happens When We Stop Living?” by Nathan C Walker
The question is not,
“What happens when we die?”
Nobody really knows.
The real question is,
“What happens when we stop living?”
The stoicism we face on a daily basis
is a symptom of a larger illness
called a dually-dulled life.
Our lives can be hypnotized
by the monotonous commutes,
multiplied by the flickering florescent light
that falls upon the micromanaging boss
who thinks everything you do in your cubicle
is an extension of his or her power.
Who here is dying a slow and numbing death?
There’s no time to be lulled by monotony.
There is no time to be blaming
other people for our own feelings.
If you don’t like it, change it.
There’s no time for crying, or complaining,
or gossiping, or clinging to that fashionable grudge bag.
No. It is time to wake up, to rise up,
and to carry ourselves into a day worth living.
Let us live one day—this day—
with passion and a sense of collective synergy.
Let us live one day—this day—
by asking questions that truly challenge us
and make us feel alive.
For today’s question is not
“What happens when we die?” it is
“What happens when we stop living?”
“What Happens When We Stop Living?” excerpted from Nathan C. Walker (2014) Exorcising Preaching: Crafting Intellectually Honest Worship. St. Louis: Chalice Press
Easter is seen through many lenses, some are very clear precise, they are certain as to what Easter is about. Others though see Easter through a kaleidoscope of ever changing colours and shapes. What comes to your heart and mind when you think of Easter?
What is clear to me is that Easter is about the Power of Love that grew from that empty tomb. Whatever we may think about bodily resurrection, something definitely lived on beyond the physical death of Jesus. While his body may no longer have remained in the empty tomb, some beautiful aspect of his life certainly remained. Love was born again, even after the body as killed.
Resurrection probably means something different to each and every person. As the meaning of Easter probably means something different to each and every person. Whatever it means to you I hope you live out that belief in your lives. I do my best to.
I have experienced many deaths to what I thought I knew throughout my life and have experienced what it means to live once again. I know what is means to experience resurrection, to finally wake up from an earth bound slumber, and I do not believe I am alone in this.
Now of course many believe that the Kingdom is the place that we go to when we die, if chosen. I do not believe that this is what Jesus was speaking of in the Gospels. Remember he said that the “kingdom is within you” or that it is “at hand” (here now). I believe that he was teaching that the key is to bring the kingdom alive within ourselves and to share that with our world, therefore building the beloved community of love. I have come to believe that this is the love that is born again as the stone was rolled away and seemingly found to be empty, because from that emptiness love was once again, born again.
From nothing comes everything.
And yet by bringing forth hat is within me I have begun to create the Kingdom of Love right here right now and in so doing I have begun to live fully alive…
We all have this day, we all have this time, what shall we do with it? The key I believe is to fully live it. To bring forth what is within us. To incarnate love in our lives is to become fully alive. The second century philosopher Irenaeus said “The glory of God is the human person fully alive.” This to me is the word becoming flesh and dwelling amongst us, this is the divine love fully alive. This is truly bringing forth the kingdom that is within us. If you want to experience the divine in life, then all you have to do is to find the courage to live fully alive and then to bless the world with your very presence and thus inspire others to do the same. And thus enjoy the kingdom of God, the kin-dom of love right now.
This is the Love that is born again on the eternal Easter morning. This is what grows from the emptiness of the tomb when the stone is rolled away…From nothing to everything…
I’m going to end this little chip of a "blogspot" with the following poem by Mary Oliver “Summer’s Day
“The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
...So what do you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?