How Will You Be Changed?
April 6, 2015
A Better Resurrection by Christina Rossetti
I have no wit, no words, no tears;
My heart within me like a stone
Is numb’d too much for hopes or fears;
Look right, look left, I dwell alone;
I lift mine eyes, but dimm’d with grief
No everlasting hills I see
My life is in the falling leaf
O Jesus, quicken me.
My life is like a faded leaf,
My harvest dwindled to a husk:
Truly my life is void and brief
And tedious in the barren dusk;
My life is like a frozen thing,
No bud nor greenness can I see:
Yet rise it shall—the sap of Spring;
O Jesus, rise in me.
My life is like a broken bowl,
A broken bowl that cannot hold
One drop of water for my soul
Or cordial in the searching cold;
Cast in the fire the perish’d thing;
Melt and remould it, till it be
A royal cup for Him, my King:
O Jesus, drink of me.
The death and resurrection of Jesus changed them.
The Disciples, who were cowering in various hiding places in the days before Easter, were changed when they met the Risen Lord, ate with him, talked with him, prayed with him…encountered him. They were changed into men who went into the world and proclaimed the Gospel, often at great personal cost. Not like they didn’t know what would likely happen to them – they had seen Jesus crucified by the powers and principalities. But the Resurrection changed them into people who simply could not be silent about the message of Jesus, no matter what.
The women, discounted in their own culture, considered property by some, not even worthy to give legal testimony in the courts of their day, were changed. Going to the empty tomb with a tumult of emotions, they were the first to encounter the Risen Christ. These women, considered unimportant because of their gender by their own culture, were charged with proclaiming one of the greatest messages for all of humanity: Go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead.’
The people, in and around Galilee, and in other places, who may or may not have heard about Jesus during his lifetime, who may or may not have been aware of the tragic events in Jerusalem, were changed…or given the opportunity to change. The message began to be shared. He is Risen! Death has been conquered. We are beloved of God. Alleluia! Gatherings began of people who told his story, who prayed in the name of Christ, and who cared for the sick, imprisoned, poor, and outcast.
The death and resurrection of Jesus changes us.
We have witnessed the victory of love. We have heard the saving story of God’s acts in human history. We have proclaimed his resurrection. Our interior lives have been changed and shifted as we have been reminded of whom we are: God’s beloved.
So how will we express this inner change in our outer lives? How will our acts reflect our changed soul? How will we respond to this newness of life?
Too often, Easter becomes a day, maybe a season, where we celebrate the event, and we try to continue in our old patterns and habits, we try to continue in ways that are not life-giving. But like the early disciples, like the women, like the people who encountered the Risen Christ in their lives over 2000 year ago, we have a miraculous opportunity to respond to the Resurrection. We have an invitation to be changed in light of this shockingly lavish message of love and acceptance.
So, how will this Easter change you?
What in your life is ready for change in response to the Resurrection? Are there relationships that need to be reconciled, prayers that need to be prayed, grief that needs to be acknowledged, joy that needs to be celebrated? What in our lives are we called to offer to God so they will be melted and remolded, so that they will be changed? Be aware of places in your life where God has rolled away the stone and is calling you out of the old and into the newness of change.
Christopher Engle Barnhart
I have gone deeper into my spirituality thru study and prayer. Each day during Holy Easter Week my wife and I attended daily services. For me, it was the first time in my life that I had done this. What an experience for me. My wife and I are part of a Cursillo team. The Cursillo will occur a month from now. The experiences I have had during this time will help me be better prepared for the up and coming Cursillo.
In the Dallas Morning News this weekend there were two articles that got my attention. One was about the necessity for healthy lifestyles (diet, exercise, rest) for clergy, and the other was about living to 100. The second article mentioned a healthy diet (the more veggies and fruits, the better), exercise, and “finding your tribe,” a group of kindred spirits with whom to connect. The people in one group also were members of faith based communities. These articles, plus the physical and emotional demands of Holy Week, reminded me that every aspect of our lives needs and deserves attention and support the year ’round in order to maintain or restore health. Resurrection can and does happen in many ways, great and small, at any time, especially in fertile ground.
We have a new diagnosis in our house to come to terms with and an adaptation of our lives. It will be new and different but still exciting as all children develop – just in different ways.