Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


New Creation

At On Faith, the folks at Newsweek and The Washington Post have asked their panelists,
If the remains of Jesus had been definitively found, how would that change your view of Christianity?
The replies are online here: Remains of Jesus.

New Testament scholar and Anglican Bishop N.T. Wright says,
Christianity is about this creator God launching his project of new creation—transformed, now, so that death itself and all that contributes to it can no longer touch it—in and through the resurrection of Jesus, and continuing until the earth (not just heaven! THE EARTH) is filled with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea.

That began at Easter, continues in the life of faith, prayer and sacrament and the mission, in the widest and narrowest senses of the word, of the church, and will be complete when justice and mercy flood the whole creation.

Easter is the hinge on which all this turns, consequent upon the victory accomplished on the cross. Take Easter away, and we are at best like the first-century Jews, still hoping for redemption to happen but with no sign that it has just yet. And at worst we are back with some kind of paganism -- which is where, ultimately, the denial of resurrection will leave you.

Bodily resurrection is what you get at the intersection point between the lines of God as the good and wise creator and God as the judge who will set everything right at last.

Give up either, or both, and what you're left with isn't Christianity.
While scholar and noted author Marcus Borg writes,
Were the skeletal remains of Jesus to be indisputably identified, it would not matter to me. To think that the central meaning of Easter depends upon something spectacular happening to Jesus’ corpse misses the point of the Easter message and risks trivializing the story. To link Easter primarily to our hope for an afterlife, as if our post-death existence depends upon God having transformed the corpse of Jesus, is to reduce the story to a politically-domesticated yearning for our survival beyond death.

Thomas touches JesusRather, what mattered for his early followers was that they continued to know him as a living figure of the present after his death – not just during the forty days of appearances that the author of Acts mentions (Acts 1.3), but in the years and decades (and centuries) ever since. And to affirm, as Christians do, that the living presence of Jesus is Lord is to commit oneself to the story of Jesus as the central revelation of God’s dream for the world. It means to stand against the powers that killed him and to stand for the vision of God’s kingdom that he proclaimed.

Easter is both personal and political. The lordship of Jesus is the path of personal liberation from the lords of culture, and the affirmation of a very different kind of world. To lose this emphasis in a debate about what happened to the corpse of Jesus is to be distracted by the lords who killed him.
As for me, I will gather with others tonight at 7 p.m. to celebrate our first service of the resurrection this year with The Great Vigil of Easter. And tomorrow I will lead our worship at 8 and 10 a.m. knowing that the Lord is risen indeed!

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

The start of the Easter Vigil
The start of an Easter Vigil service at King of Peace
as we use new fire to light the Pachal (Easter) candle

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