I talk a good deal about the importance of the resurrection to the Christian faith. Typically, this comes off as some hare-brained attempt to advocate social justice or inadvertently support global warming, which is so unfortunate. I struggle to enunciate exactly why I think this is so important, even though the thought of it on certain days sink down into my soul so thoroughly that I fight tears. So, for a brief moment, allow me to use someone else’s words:
If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased. – C.S. Lewis, “The Weight of Glory”
This was my first real encounter with resurrection theology, and while I didn’t realize it at the time, this notion has become one of the most foundational concepts in my faith. I do not want to be a half-hearted creature! And I genuinely believe that only way to live a full and rich kind of faith is to see the resurrection of Christ as the focal point to, well, everything.
As someone who struggles with traditional church, and mindless institutions (collegiate or otherwise), the resurrection screams to me that we cannot, we must not, go quietly along simply because “this is the way it’s done.” My response to that? “Dead men don’t rise from the grave!”
We’re working through a series on Saints right now over at the College House, and in some ways this is simply revisiting what I’ve already taught to my juniors and seniors during the school year, but it never ceases to amaze me how God’s Truth runs right smack dab through the middle of everything, and the resurrection of Christ is no exception. So many of the Saints who stand out in the twenty centuries of Church History do so because their faith, anchored in the same sentiment that Lewis enunciates so clearly, causes them to live a life totally different from everyone around them. I think of Watchman Nee and Dietrich Bonheoffer, men who reflected Christ even as they died in such unjust circumstances, and I pause: “how will the resurrection change me? will people see that truth in my life?”
It’s a powerful question. Father, help me to live it well.