Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter inspiration and an in-process theology

From today's Easter Sunday sermon, which quoted theologian Clarence Jordan:

“The proof that God raised Jesus from the dead is not the empty tomb, but the full hearts of his transformed disciples. The crowning evidence that he lives is not a vacant grave, but a spirit-filled fellowship; not a rolled-away stone, but a carried-away church.”

I'm an ordained deacon at my church, but I'll be the first to tell people that there are days when I'm more agnostic than not. My faith journey is something I usually struggle to articulate -- and I admit I have far more questions than answers about my own beliefs and spirituality. But sometimes there are those great eureka moments where you feel like something you read or hear or think about ... just clicks. I love those moments (fleeting and rare as they are) and I felt fortunate to have one this morning when I listened to Jordan's quote. 

I know there are a lot people who believe that the Bible is inerrant. I respect those who do, but I'm not one of them. I believe the Bible is a living, breathing document and its pages have been compiled, rewritten, debated, translated, mistranslated, retold, argued, compressed, omitted and transcribed. (And that's just part of it.) I believe it's a book of metaphor, poetry, symbolism, tradition, story, history, mystery, frustration, inspiration ... well, you get the point. (I should stop before I sound too much like Rob Bell.)

What I love about this quote is that it shows that it's not really a question about whether you literally believe the Easter story as a verbatim, factual account of a series of events that happened roughly 1,980-something years ago. Instead, Easter is about everything that happened in the days, weeks, months and years after. And it's about everything that's still happening today. 

Believe what you want. Create your own theology. Find your own metaphor in the texts of a pretty magnificent story. See it as allegory, fiction or fact. But as I celebrate Easter, I find it hard to argue that a pretty powerful seed was planted in our history, and it's still bearing fruit today. 

P.S. Fun fact about Jordan... he's considered the spiritual founder of Habitat for Humanity. The more you know.


Anonymous said...

while I am not Christian, and don't celebrate Easter, I found this quote greatly inspiring as well. any person who advocates a symbolic interpretation of various Scriptures traverses above the semantics. believers of any faith should think deeply about meaning. many times this requires thinking more abstract than literal.

Easter quotes said...

Great post, really appropriate for this coming Easter, this is quite inspiring. Cheers!