Resurrection: Beyond Harps and Clouds
Thoughts on the First Readings -Joe Frankenfield
If you ask a grade school child what Easter means, she’ll almost always reply that Jesus came back to life after he died on the cross. That’s not a bad answer for a grade school child. It might be an improvement if she said that God rescued Jesus from death and took him to a new and better life but her answer works for an eight year old.
For the rest of us it’s important to recognize that Jesus faced death, just as we all do, powerless over it. God raised Jesus from death. God didn’t bring Jesus back to life as he knew it before. God brought him into a new life. We know that his new existence was the fullness of life but beyond that, we can’t imagine it. We can’t simply say now Jesus lives forever. We can’t imagine the life to which God raised him as endless bliss with, as my kid brother used to say, “no school, no bedtime and an endless supply of ice cream.”
About the existence God that has in store for us Paul wrote that our “eyes haven’t seen, ears haven’t heard, and minds haven’t imagined” what it will be.
What we do know about existence after our current life is that it centers on relationships. We will be at one with our Creator. We will be at one with all of creation and that will include being at one with ourselves.
The important thing now is that, pointing out how he lived the promise of God in his own life, Jesus taught that nothing stops us from beginning the life God promises today by being at one with our Creator and his creation. That’s an awfully good start – and an awfully good Easter prayer.