Nonsense

Posted: 27 March, 2016 in My stuff
Tags: , , , ,

no-nonsenseIntroduction

Along with a handful of friends, I was up very early this morning for a liturgy of resurrection and to watch the sunrise. Today is Easter Sunday or, as it is becoming more commonly called, Resurrection Sunday.

The whole idea of resurrection from the dead, be it of Jesus or anyone else for that matter, is greeted with scepticism by most people. The idea being that once you’re dead you’re dead and apart from resuscitation with in a very short time frame most people stay that way.

Resurrection from the dead?

Nonsense!

A nice idea at best, akin to living happily ever after. A residual belief in a post-Christian culture that gets a hat-tip when someone we love dies. But not to be taken seriously.

It is interesting to note that ‘nonsense’ is precisely the word used by those who heard the report of the women who were first on the scene, the first responders to the dawn of the third day. They had come prepared for a burial, funerary spices in hand. They found an empty tomb and a message of resurrection. Perplexed as they were, they took the only response given to them back to the rest of Jesus’ follower/friends.

‘Nonsense.’ they said.

But Peter went to check out this nonsense for himself.

 

Luke’s Gospel, chapter 23, verses 1 to 12

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.

When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.

Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

 

Reflection (probably not so much reflection as a bit more commentary…  but I’m not apologising)

I live in a rational, scientific, evidence based world, yet I stake my life on this message of nonsense. My life is shaped by the story of Jesus including the unbelievable bit.  I can not imagine my life without the resurrected Christ, and everything that that means, as an integral part of it.

I have surrendered to the more that I believe is outside of our rational, scientific milieu believing that there must be more. I believe that the more shows itself-himself-herself to us in and through history, through the story of the Hebrew people, and particularly through the story of a carpenter-turned-preacher from Galilee known to us as Jesus.

While our knowledge as a species is growing exponentially in all fields I believe there is more that we do not know, and that it is possibly beyond our knowing, unless that which is more somehow shows itself-himself-herself to us.

This a mystery beyond our knowing is perhaps not beyond our experience. Something that, once it has happened to us, can’t be un-happened!

During a recent conversation about the mystery-that-is-god that some of us seem to have fallen into, my friend, who had an idea that following Jesus was all about certainty and rules and religious rites, made the profound statement that they could ‘believe in a god they could not believe in’.

Easter Sunday, Resurrection Sunday, asks us to believe in a god we can not believe in. It asks us to place our faith in a nonsense that we know can not be real. It draws us to step outside of what we know, what we can measure, what we can be certain of, and step into a world of mystery that not only fills some of the gaps but makes sense of the whole picture.

Peter thought this stuff about resurrection all a lot of nonsense, but he went to see for himself.  Will you take the time, take the risk,  to go and see for yourself?

 

Burning Bush

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