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Rising Tidings

Growing Toward the Light of Resurrection

Posted by RENEW International on Mar 14, 2018 10:55:11 AM
RENEW International

ARISE-light.jpgIt often seems that crucifixion looms larger than resurrection in our world. It is true that, as the poet Jan Richardson writes, “the world is always ending somewhere.” People die, people suffer injustices and illnesses, hurricanes rage, and earthquakes rumble, and sometimes these tragedies seem constant. It would be foolish to shrug away the reality of tragedies and injustices—Jesus himself didn’t. In fact, in Jesus’ experience on the cross he identified with human suffering. But the story does not end there. The story ends in resurrection and ascension. Jesus points to the light of resurrection and the glory of ascension.

Poets understand the power of resurrection. Thomas Merton wrote, “make ready for the Christ.” How might we make ready for Christ? Perhaps, as Jan Richardson writes, we can do so by listening to the inner blessing that “turn[s] your face toward the direction from which the light will come.” Jesus’ words strike this theme: “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). In the midst of tragedy, Jesus calls us to grow toward the light of our lives—moments of kindness and connection, charity and warmth, joyful friendships, and places of abundance.

Maybe we are all called to plant seeds, in our gardens and in our words and in our friendships, whose shoots will climb toward the light of the sun. And perhaps some of the things in our lives that seem dark are actually seeds waiting to climb to the sun’s warmth, to the heart of God. The practice of resurrection involves the endurance of growth, of search, and of prayer. Jesus directs our earthly growth to God as a process “born of water and spirit,” seeking truth and goodness, beauty and light, and the God of life that rises from death.


Blessing When the World is Ending

Look, the world
is always ending

the sun has come
crashing down.

it has gone
completely dark.

it has ended
with the gun,
the knife,
the fist.

it has ended
with the slammed door,
the shattered hope.

it has ended
with the utter quiet
that follows the news
from the phone,
the television,
the hospital room.

it has ended
with a tenderness
that will break
your heart.

But, listen,
this blessing means
to be anything
but morose.
It has not come
to cause despair.

It is simply here
because there is nothing
a blessing
is better suited for
than an ending,
nothing that cries out more
for a blessing
than when a world
is falling apart.

This blessing
will not fix you,
will not mend you,
will not give you
false comfort;
it will not talk to you
about one door opening
when another one closes.

It will simply
sit itself beside you
among the shards
and gently turn your face
toward the direction
from which the light
will come,
gathering itself
about you
as the world begins

—Jan Richardson
from Circle of Grace

© Jan Richardson.


Tags: Change Our Hearts

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  • Change Our Hearts: Conversion
  • In the Footsteps of Christ: Discipleship
  • New Heart, New Spirit: Reconciliation & Forgiveness
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