Practising Resurrection

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Take all that you have and be poor…
Plant sequoias…
Be joyful though you have considered the facts…
Go with your love to the fields…
Practice Resurrection.

(Wendell Berry)

These are a few lines from Wendell Berry’s  Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front. This poem suggests radical ways of living and loving, and it ends with the imperative: Practice Resurrection.

What would it mean for us to practice resurrection?

It has been almost a month now since Easter Sunday. It’s easy to forget that Easter was not one day, but a season – or, as this series of meditations is called, “50 Days of Fabulous.” Our 50-day season of celebration is longer than our 40-day Lenten season of penitence was. But as our lives slip back into our busy routines, our commitments, and the challenges of our daily lives, Easter can begin to seem like a memory, not a living reality.

Maybe we need to be more disciplined about practicing resurrection. Remember your Lenten disciplines? Perhaps you gave up chocolate or alcohol or Facebook. Maybe you attended a Bible study or were more disciplined in your life of prayer. Or, maybe you followed Lent Madness, learning about the lives of the saints.

But, did you take on any Easter disciplines this year? We sometimes think of the word “discipline” as something rigid or confining. Or, sad to say, we find it easier to order our lives in earnest during times of penitence, and forget that order can help us experience joy. Perhaps it requires some discipline to practice joy.

If I were more disciplined, perhaps I would be better at remembering Jesus’ words at the tomb “Do not be afraid.” I would take more risks, trust God more. Maybe instead of composing one more email or doing one more load of laundry, I could discipline myself to go outside and enjoy nature. I might not be planting any sequoias as Berry suggests, but certainly a flower or two would be possible. I also need to practice laughing more, and take my work less seriously, myself more lightly. Practicing resurrection means trusting that we don’t need to do everything ourselves, that the God who raised Christ from the dead can give us new life too.

How might you practice resurrection?

– Nancy Hopkins-Greene

Be disciplined about practicing resurrection: Make a list of five Easter disciplines that you will observe from now until the feast of Pentecost.

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