May 3rd Devotion - Living Resurrection
“The believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the community, to their shared meals, and to their prayers. A sense of awe came over everyone. God performed many wonders and signs through the apostles.” Acts 2: 42-43
Luke records this as one of many accounts of the early Christian community. This takes place post resurrection, post ascension, post coming of the Holy Spirit. They are people practicing resurrection.
We are to be practicing resurrection too. Yet, the concept is still a challenge even after all these centuries. Resurrection is other worldly and mysterious. We prefer concepts to be clear and concise. Acts record of the first post-resurrection followers of Jesus offer us clues on how to practice resurrection today. Our world, like the first century world, could use some folks focused on living resurrection.
Diana Butler Bass offers us a manifesto for practicing resurrection:
“Here's the manifesto for practicing resurrection.
It's not a list of committees. It's not a plan to fix anything. It isn’t an ethical to-do list. The manifesto for practicing resurrection is four simple things:
· A community that understands itself to be a community that is in common unity with God and neighbor.
· A community that manifests that unity in deep friendship by living with one another and express that love in physical and embodied ways.
· One of those embodied ways is eating together and offering boundless hospitality.
· Then, finally, it's living a life of prayer that draws its heart out of the way that Jesus taught us to pray: about generosity and gratitude and freedom from debt, fear, and all that is evil.” (“The Cottage” Sunday Musings: Sept. 30, 2023)
The new life resurrection offers is more than a history lesson of faith. Practicing resurrection frees us from the confinements of the world. Practicing resurrection moves us beyond our debt to and fear of all that is evil. Practicing resurrection opens our hearts towards the love and unity offered in the risen Jesus. We become free to live as the Easter people we are invited to be.
*Image credit: “Resurrection” by Paul T. Granlund. Bronze statue. “The movement of the body is not downward, but upward and out. The outstretching of the arms and the propelling tension in the legs emphasize the surging strength of this Christ as the lid of the tomb is thrown off. The walls of death are not strong enough to prevail against the power of God. Almost birdlike, this figure is breaking free of earth’s gravity, no longer under the sway of ordinary time and space. This is the power of Resurrection” (from “Imagining the Word: An Arts and Lectionary Resource Vol. 1”