Beyond the Norm (and into Easter)

This morning while I was taking a shower contemplating my lack of in-touchness with Easter (a lack that resulted from my further lack of participation in the season of Lent) I was struck by a grace that allowed me to see beyond the norm. Generally mornings are not a good time for me as I start out in a melancholy funk, which only a shower, a few cups of coffee, and some morning air can shake. So, in this state of mind, with the warm water waking the sleeping cells of my body, it became clear that contrary to my profession of faith in some critical way I deny the power of the resurrection. In this clarity, what I saw is that though I accept the resurrection as a tenet of faith, and though I believe in some abstract theological way that Jesus rising from the grave has meaning for my life, what I don’t actually believe is that the resurrection has literal and practical meaning that addresses the deepest problems of my soul. Consequently, I have come to accept as the norm for my life that which I can envision within the boundary of my own resources: a life that is determined by what I have been capable of as I have lived in a state of half-faith. In contrast to this, however, in the clarity of that moment, what I saw was that Jesus’ death and resurrection also means my death and resurrection, which further means that I no longer need to let lethargy, lust, melancholy, anger and other such signs of death continue to mark my life. I know this sounds like I am espousing the possibility of sinless perfection, which is a notion that I resist, and so I have a tension that I must continue to reflect upon as I work this out in my life. For now, however, what I will say is that I am determined to not limit the grace of God (the power of the resurrection) by the limits of my past experience and the limits of my imagination.

2 Responses to “Beyond the Norm (and into Easter)”

  1. Paul  

    Tony – wow, what a candid and honest post! Easter is a difficult holiday for me as well. How does one process the resurrection? The “resurrection”? The Resurrection? All I know is that I spend more time than normal wrestling with the questions and meaning of my faith. I’ve been finding myself returning to interest in my faith (Faith? “faith”) as my family’s ready to grow and I see how I wish to have my faith shared with my children. Just how to believe? What to believe? Why? The answer lies within the wrestling, doesn’t it?

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