loren Eric Swanson: Easter Greeting

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Greeting

I know this morning the tradional "ancient Easter greeting" will be echoed in churches around the world will be, "He is risen!" followed by "He is risen indeed!" But the first Easter morning greetings were a bit more complex (and a bit more ancient). Mark's gospel records that when Mary Magdalene "told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping," that Jesus was risen and that she had seen them, "they did not believe it" (Mark 16:11). Instead of responding, "He is risen indeed" they said something more like, "Huh? He is?" When Jesus appeared to two of them, "[t]hese returned and reported it to the rest" He is risen! "But they did not believe them either." Another, "Huh? He is?" The resurrection is too important to be reduced to an affirmation. It is the cornerstone of our faith, for as St. Paul argues, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith" (1 Corinthians 15:14). Real faith always includes a bit of doubt for without doubt we only have knowledge and we don't live by knowledge but by faith. One who has knowledge ceases from beeing a seeker and those with doubt remain teachable and open to truth. Most of us can quote Matthew 28:18-20 regarding the great commission, but scarce few can quote Matthew 28:17--"When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted." Worshipers and doubters side by side, going forth with love and in obedience to be first domino people who launched the gospel to the ends of the earth. Obedience does not take perfect knowledge but faith and God always can use people of faith.

2 Comments:

At Monday, April 17, 2006 3:36:00 AM, Blogger jerry said...

Eric,

another observation is the use of present tense, He is risen and not He has risen as I sometimes here. it is a small but subtle difference in language and meaning.

This past week we had some Singaporean friends in our city looking for overlap of mercy work that they could partner with, send people to do and join with us. It was a wonderful time afterwards in de-brief to hear them each bringing memory stones and tears as an act of worship to God showing up during their time. I told them that is always our prayer, that they will see things they have not seen before and see God and the Chinese as never before.

One good story: We have been praying for possible ways to minister in area of human trafficing in our city. Several of us pray: What would it be like here if there were no prostitution,no sex slaves, etc?
Because of lack of someone to work there, this has not moved very far.

I called a friend who I "recalled" had a little somethign going on and asked if our friends could tag along. She briefed them for couple hours on status and then they went to see.

They visited these women in their shops, talked with them, and miracle of miracles, one young women prc'd. all the time, the woman's sister was taunting them with "she'll never change" why continue trying?!

They will take what ever steps they can if she will respond to coming out, including job training, re-location, etc.

In terms of Easter, here was a young woman who was dead! literally dead! and now she is alive. What a cool way to begin Easter Weekend.

 
At Monday, April 17, 2006 8:32:00 AM, Blogger r.fuel said...

Thanks for the insight.

 

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