Easter 2021: Celebrating as one

“You seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified; he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.
But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goes before you…”

Today we celebrate as one. Denominations are put down; debates are swept aside; human pettiness tempered; today we say “Christ is risen” and we answer “He has risen indeed!”

This is the taste of new life. New life filled with the power of the resurrection.

It is more than vaccine against bad experiences. It is more than just hope when things are truly going bad. It is more than being able to get prayers answered. It is more than the cumulative experience of our previous testimonies and experiences. It is more than the cloud of witnesses. 

It is more.

We try and put it into words so we can understand. Because we like to think that we can mentally comprehend things and say: “Yeah, I get this….” But our conceptualizations fail.

Today, He Has Risen, means more than being “born again”. 

Today is the day that universe changed. Today is the today that humanity was changed. Today is the day that both continue to change. 
And they change because “You seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified; he is risen”.

What does that mean? We can all read and listen to sermons and do the bible studies. But will we experience the power like Antonia did when she left all and lived the rest of her life in Tijuana prison cells? Will we experience the power like the community that has built itself on serving others and serving great coffee at the same time

Will we, like the wise thief, be with Jesus today in paradise?

Do we know what the power behind the “risen” is? And what it has done?

“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God”

We are the woman of John 8 being freed from the shackles. We are the Church receiving the Spirit at Pentecost. We are the empowered soldiers  and saints. We are the salt of the earth. We have new life. 

Life forever altered and given new power because: he has risen. And we have believed. 

So will we then pontificate? Shall we sit back and watch the world burn sure of our salvation? Will we judge others based on their choices, even though our Master refused to judge while he lived among us?  Shall we then be critical of brothers and sisters and their problems in their congregations and be critical of their theologies from our own imperfect homes?

If we do, we misunderstand the power of the resurrection.

We are past all that. We have been commissioned beyond all that. We have been given an Abrams tank and yet we ride on a miniature pony. Holding back the full force of the gospel.

The resurrection of Jesus is our resurrection. The same power then that tore the veil in two and shook the earth to its core and blacked out the sun: that’s the power we have today. 

We believe that what to come is greater than what is behind, and that meekness is not weakness, and our banners fly tall, our backs straight, and our mission clear.

“Do good, seek justice, correct oppression, bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause”It is implied, Christians, that we will tell people what truth compels us to do these things. Because we understand that truth is a who, Jesus of Nazareth whom we seek, and that he is risen. And we have his power.

With love from Northern California,

Christopher Warren
Mark 16:6-7Heb 10:12Isaiah 1:17

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