Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Side-Note To The Easter Event

[T]he resurrection of Jesus radically ruptures the natural order of the universe. Everyone dies and dead people stay dead – what is more certain than that? But this provocative Galilean rabbi – he dies alright, but he doesn’t stay dead. Here, in a graveyard in Jerusalem, the world breaks open – and its reordering begins. - Kim Fabricius 
I have written many times that there are several words with which I would do away had I that kind of power.  One of them is "nature" and its adjectival form, "natural".  Like the other words I'd discard, they are too often used thoughtlessly, as if both speaker/reader and hearer/reader knew exactly what the words mean.

As Christians, it is usually a good idea to start thinking all sorts of things from the point of the resurrection.  Doing that, we realize that our usual, casual understanding of what constitutes "nature" and "natural" becomes, like the rest of the creation, crucified with Christ and, as Fabricius says further down the sermon quoted above, unrecognizable precisely because it is the new creation, unrecognizable for who and what it is.   As such, talking about "nature" as if it were a thing unaffected by the death and resurrection of Jesus is, as with so much of our talk without reference to this central point of all creation, is just jabber, meaningless babble that leaves us wondering what, exactly, anyone's talking about.

In Revelation, the Lamb sits on the throne and says, "Behold, I make all things new."  That means all things.  The usual order of our experience, the round of days and nights, the cycle of seasons and years, the coming in to being and passing away of things both living and inanimate; all these will disappear as death, the final enemy, is destroyed and all creation, made new, gives praise to God in Christ through the Spirit who gives us new life, eternal life.

Oh, and I would highly recommend reading the whole sermon Fabricius printed.  It is, as a really good Easter sermon should be, shocking and, like the resurrection itself, overturning of all our expectations.

Happy Easter, all.

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