We are an Easter people, a people of the resurrection, a people of re-creation. But now, five weeks out from Easter, it can be hard to live that way. I’m tired. Even prayer seems too much of a burden sometimes. It is in these moments that I take comfort in the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 8:26-27: “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
Not only does the Spirit groan on our behalf, but we are reminded that we too are the saints. Too often it is easy to think that the saints are only those recognized by the Church. And they can sometimes feel so distant. Who among us has the courage of a St. Perpetua, the visions and wisdom of a St. Hildegard, the desire for prayer and order of a St. Benedict? And yet we are also the saints. No, we are not canonized, we’re not even in Heaven, and most of the time we feel very distant from it. But we are the saints too. We are the holy ones of God, set aside for his unique purpose, unity with him through Jesus and in the Spirit.
What this means for us is that even when it is hard, even when we least feel the presence of God, we have to be an Easter people. This means we must live in that joy that goes beyond feeling. We must care for the oppressed, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and spread the gospel of new life in Christ to the world. We have to stand up and declare the reality that Christ is risen!
As the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15, this isn’t just some nice, pie-in-sky idea, some metaphor about a new way of living in the here and now. Of course it is about a new way of living in the here and now, but there is more. There is hope, hope that all the wrongs we will never be able to right in the world will one day be righted for us by our coming King. There is a hope that death is not the end, but only the next step, the next door out of the foyer and into the house.
We are an Easter people. It can be so hard to remember sometimes, but it’s true. We are a people of the resurrection, a people to whom God says, “Arise!”
Arise! Arise and meet the risen One. The Sun is dawning on the newest day. Death has lost, the devil has not won, The dead seed is now a tree come out to play. The week has been re-written and now ends On the day God said, “Let there be Light.” The Light has been unveiled and eternally sends The radiance of Joy to those lost in the night. The first is now the eighth, eternal present, And its Light shall never be put out, But we only see in part, like the lunar crescent Our sight is dimmed by our fear and doubt. But today we know that Death has been defeated And the King is on his throne, in peace he’s seated.
Editor’s note: “Arise” first appeared in the collection, “Liturgical Entanglements,” out now with Resource Publications.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. David Russell Mosley is a poet and theologian living and teaching in the Inland Northwest. His debut book of poetry, “The Green Man,” is available from Resource Publications. In his spare time, Dr. Mosley likes wandering around in the woods, spending time in community and smoking a pipe.