So Jesus beats death, hope and life explodes from the grave, the promises of the prophets stand true, the heavens and the earth will be made anew. Good wins. Evil, death and sin is vanquished and the high point of the cosmic drama is completed.
With millions of others around the world, today on easter Sunday we worship and remember the greatest miracle. But then we get into our cars, or head to the bus stop or walk home and a small nagging voice enters into many of our heads. This force, this resurrection power, where is it in my life? Why does my life not fizz, snap and sparkle with the kind of power that rolled back the stone and animated the dead Christ back to life? Surely such power of which we hear so much from the pulpit, must be due at some time to rudely interrupt our mundane reality?
We ask when will the power which blew away the dust of death, break into our world of email, supermarkets, and household chores and transform our lives? We wonder when our lives will be swept up in a moment and be transformed in the blink of an eye.
Now maybe some of you who are reading can point to a moment in time when the resurrection power of Christ changed your life in an instant. But the majority of us do not know such instantaneous transformation.
The other day I chanced upon my journals from a decade ago, I have not looked them for many years. I began to read, and before I knew it a couple of hours had passed as I revisited the person I was. This is not the time nor place to delve deeply into my story, but ten years ago I was in a bad place, and in desperate need of healing and transformation. As I read on, I noticed tiny, incremental changes in my life, changes that can only be recognised from the vantage point of time.
I thought of who I am now, and the incredible change that Christ has wrought in my life. A change that you could not pin point to one earth shattering moment, when the resurrection power of Christ broke into my life. Instead God’s resurrection power has operated in my life in the way a slow realise fertiliser does. Perhaps a more appropriate metaphor would be that of a mustard seed.
So how did this incremental resurrection power change me? I noticed key decisions that I made, disciplines that I adopted. As I looked back I realised that resurrection power operates something akin rhythm in our lives, a beat that we are invited to march to. Here are the keys which ensured change in my life, my suspicion is that they will be the same for you.
- Committing to Spiritual Community: Doggedly turning up to church, seeing attendance as a spiritual discipline. Realising that christian faith is always a community practice.
- Allowing People to Speak into My Life: Letting people who are ahead of me on the road of faith to speak both encouraging and correcting words into my life.
- Confronting Sins and Dysfunctions: Realising that my life project is to become more Christ like, to allow myself to be transformed through confronting my dark side.
- Keeping Spiritual Disciplines: Sticking to spiritual disciplines even when I don’t feel like it. Doing the basics.
- Living for Others: Understanding that we do not live in the kingdom of the rugged individual, rather we live in the Kingdom of God. Therefore just as Jesus gave his life for me, I am required to lay down my life for others.
These rhythms are not flash or slick. They are not built for a culture that demands instant results and immediate gratification. They are the walk that Jesus invites us into, a walk that step by step opens our lives to the power that opened the tomb two thousand years ago.