Today we continue the first week of Easter and the celebration of the risen Christ together. Don’t forget our daily reflection for this week.
In my front yard we have a Bradford Pear tree. Until the last few weeks, we had never seen it in bloom. Bradfords are absolutely gorgeous trees. When they first begin to bloom they have these delicate white bunches of flowers. I often think of a bride dressed in white when I look at it. (Although I will ignore the part about their smell for the sake of this metaphor.) Our tree has entered into this stage and it changes the whole landscape of the yard. Small white pedals are everywhere, the tree full and blooming – emblazoned with the arrival of Spring.
On the bottom, our tree is surrounded by phlox. A blanket of green wrapped the roots of the tree and now these perfect purple flowers have begun to pepper the bushy green tree skirt. The flowers are brilliant and remind me of an Easter egg.
I was standing in our cul-de-sac admiring our pillowy white tree on top, and the burst of purple on the bottom and noticed a striking thing about them.
They are Easter colors. My tree is a living representative of Resurrection.
Then my son crawled underneath the tree and I snapped a picture. All I could think was:
Resurrection is more than just a day.
In Greg Boyd’s book Present Perfect, he gives a practice I have been trying. It is to set aside an hour or a half hour and try to nice the presence of God each minute.
It is incredibly difficult.
He calls it “a game.” And if you try it, you’ll find that it is. You begin looking for God. And when you stay present long enough you begin to experience excitement with each minute.
This is what Resurrection does for us. Resurrection opens our eyes to the multitude of places it is trying to burst forth in the world.
Easter tells us we need to be on the look out. Easter reminds us we need to wake up to the places right in front of us where Resurrection is taking place.
But most of all, Easter reminds us when we notice it – we need to celebrate it. Easter is a time to celebrate! Resurrection needs to be named and reveled in. So our job is to seek out resurrection and to rejoice in it – whatever form it takes.
When we see beauty, truth, love, creativity, compassion, forgiveness we are witnessing Resurrection.
Too often as Christians we look around at the world and name what is wrong or (probably more often) different from us. We want to find ways to separate “the other” rather than finding places where God is breaking through in their lives.
Resurrection comes not to divide, but to unite. Resurrection is for all things, all people, all places. And it shows up in places we don’t often suspect.
What if our practice for the next few weeks of Easter was to set aside the things that divide us, and we refocused our attention on the things that unite. What if we made these next few weeks a discipline in celebration – approaching the world with a child-like wonder and awe?
What if we used this season as “a game” for noticing and celebrating Resurrection?