Thursday, May 26, 2011

Easter Takes Longer than Lent

I was intrigued as I read this from Ruth Haley Barton’s recent e-newsletter from the Transforming Center:

Fortunately, the Easter season (fifty days, eight Sundays, seven weeks—however you want to look at it) is longer than Lent because there are some areas of our lives where resurrection takes longer than dying. The Church calendar itself teaches us that “the implications of the resurrection—its explosive force—call for an extended period of exploration and appropriation.”* For us mere mortals, Easter cannot be done in a day.

This resonates with the season of life I’m in, where deaths and resurrections are often far more drawn out and slow in coming. Sure, in this Dark Night I’m dying to my desire for affluence & affirmation, but it is a slow agonizing death, fought day by day (and often minute by minute), with many steps forward and many steps back. It is difficult to see which side is winning!

Resurrection comes occasionally, but it is usually a surprise after a long subversive bout with my inner demons. It ever remains though, not the product of my “hard won efforts” for I have no such illusion (my defeats far outweigh my victories!), but the miracle of the risen and ascended Christ; it is a gift to those broken and dead enough to receive it.

May the light of resurrection increase and the darkness of death decrease. But I must remember that resurrection cannot happen unless death precedes it.

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