So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it……
Be joyful, though you have considered all the facts.
(From Wendell Berry’s Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front)
Today – Easter Day – we sing, preach, and pray our good news of resurrection. Our liturgies will echo this message with fifty days of Alleluia. But how will we echo it in our common life in the world? How will we practice what we’ve heard and preached – practice resurrection, to borrow a Wendell Berry phrase?
John has taught for years in a middle school in the toughest part of town. Every third day he tells himself he’s fed up with low community resources, unmotivated students, and uninterested parents. But the next morning he rises and does it all again – he’s practicing resurrection.
Sarah is 101 days sober, after countless days and months of chaos. It’s been the hardest 101 days of her life. The cravings are sometimes impossible to resist. But she calls her sponsor and heads to a meeting and higher ground – practicing resurrection.
The NewYou Salon is closing an hour early today. Some of the stylists are heading to the homeless shelter where they offer monthly haircuts; William is off to the funeral home to fix Miss Dottie’s hair of the last time – the least he can do for her family. They are practicing resurrection.
Every day these faithful people live out the promise that life has trumped death. Their witness – as compelling as that of Paul or Silas, or Mary Magdalene – helps me believe the truth of what I try to preach.
This Easter season I plan to be on the watch for these witnesses. It’s easy to see the footprints of death – just turn on the news. But I thrill at the often overlooked steps of faithful men, women, and children whose daily acts trample death underfoot.
A few years ago I was sustained by some of these witnesses. My wife and I lived through a very dark season – a bout with cancer, the slow death of a parent, and a great crisis in the life a young person in our family. During these few months, it was easy to believe in the power of darkness; harder to believe in the power of life. Yet we were surrounded by a vast cloud of people who helped us believe. I cannot begin to recall all their names or all that they said and did. But their actions and words sounded something like these – I am with you; Let us bear one another’s burdens; Do not harden your hearts; Take, eat; Fear not. These witnesses were practicing resurrection; we saw and believed.
What song reminds you of the reality of the Resurrection in your life? Maybe it’s a hymn, maybe it’s a popular song on the radio, maybe it’s a childhood favorite. Share it in the comments with others, if you like. Sing it today. Loudly and joyfully. For today – for Easter – we sing!
-The Rt. Rev. Doug Hahn, Bishop of Lexington
Bishop Hahn is our Fabulous Proclaimer of the Resurrection this year, the person who kicks off 50 Days of Fabulous. Alleluia, Christ is Risen! The Lord is Risen Indeed!
And the 50 Days of Fabulous begin…