(In The Life Of The Church)
The Story we live in year after year entered its fourth chapter recently. To recap the Story thus far, we began by waiting in the darkness of Advent, looking around to see how very badly the world needs a Light. That Light entered the darkness on Christmas, and shone throughout the season of Epiphany, where we spent time learning again what God would have us know about who God is and who we are in the Person of Jesus. Then we entered the wilderness of Lent, following Jesus in asking the question of who we are and what we are for, or taken differently: what does it mean to live life to the fullest? And with the death and Resurrection of Jesus, we have now entered the season of Easter/Resurrection.
In the events of Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday, we are offered a challenge to the way we engage life at a fundamental level. I can think of at least three ways in which this is the case.
First, we find that, as Karl Barth says, “the goal of human life is not death, but resurrection.” Jesus’ Resurrection impacts the expectations we hold of the finality of death. But the context of Jesus’ Resurrection—coming on the other side of a death carried out by the political power of the Roman Empire at the urging of powerful religious leaders—also changes something about what we expect of life. It’s the audacity to hope that, for all the ways in which the world confirms our deepest fears, things don’t necessarily work the way we might expect. Having seen victory rise out of absolute defeat, we are left with a hope that is equally skilled at not staying dead. This ultimately chips away at the role of fear in our lives.
Second, it offers us a transformed way to look at the natural ebb and flow of life. There are myriad deaths we experience. Chapters of life come to a close. Relationships fall apart. Jobs are lost. Faith paradigms shift. Our personal interests move on. Put simply: things change. And when things change, blatantly tragically so or not, we are faced with coming to terms with this change. This coming to terms is a kind of grief. On Good Friday and Holy Saturday, we practice meaningful grief along with the disciples. We do this from a vantage point in time where we know what Event is coming on Sunday, but we do it nonetheless because we know that the grief matters. It allows us to honor what was lost, fueled by an understanding of the goodness of the life that preceded the death. But just as there are deaths that we experience time and again in life, we also find that new chapters begin, relationships rekindle, we take up new hobbies, etc. Life continues. Resurrection greets us. In Easter, we find a challenge posed to us regarding how we will rejoice at the new possibilities we find on the other side of death. A challenge to ride the fear and uncertainty of the empty tomb into the joy and wonder of encountering the Risen Lord on the road.
Third, it changes the way we experience the world. In the Resurrection, we find an emphatic Yes to life and creation. We find a vision of the other side of pain and rejection—an image of redemption painted in flesh and blood. And this image reaffirms what the biblical narrative has been getting at the whole time: God’s response to the brokenness of the world is not to do away with the world, but to make it new. The Resurrection event is one of beauty out of brokenness. It changes the way we see the world by reassuring us that all is not lost, and by training us to seek out and embrace the beauty that we encounter in life as though it spoke something more true about the way things really are than any of the more bleak messengers we might encounter.
So, those are three ways you can think about the challenge posed by Easter as we make our way through this season. But I hope that, beyond these things, you spend time asking what else this season of Resurrection might be teaching you this year.
If you have any questions or want to discuss any of this further, feel free to email email@example.com.
Office Manger Search
UBC is looking for a new office manager. Our friend and collogue Amy Smith Carman is moving on to do Ph.D. work at TCU. Congratulations Amy! We are proud of you and grateful for your contributions to the UBC staff and the larger church. Person's interested in applying can find a job description and application here.
It is the most wonderful time of year again, Study Hall at UBC. The building will be open from 10am-midnight for you to study. We will have all the coffee, refreshments, and snacks you can want. And yes, we will have the best pancakes in the state of TX at 10pm, so don’t miss out. The average student who studies at UBC for their finals make an A 97.4%, and those don’t get caught daydreaming about what a great time it was. See you on Tuesday.
One week from today (May 5), ubc is hosting a Rend Collective concert at 7pm. If you'd like to purchase tickets, you can do so here.
UBC is now accepting applications for the pastoral associate program. You can read more about the program and find the information needed to apply by clicking here.
Work is Worship
Greeters: Will Dewitt
Coffee Makers: Kareem
Mug Cleaners: Kaylin
Money Counter: Josh M.
- Sunday Sermon: Mr. Roger's Sunday.
- This Sunday night will be our April Leadership Team meeting. Please be in prayer as this group navigates decisions for the future.
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