“We have been buried with Christ by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” — Romans 6:4
On Easter Sunday and during the season of Easter (which we’re celebrating), we usually think about eternal life. As we should! It’s a sine qua non of our faith! The apostle Paul declares: “Death has lost its sting!” The poet John Donne writes: “Death be not proud, though some have called thee mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not so...one short sleepe past, wee wake eternally, and death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.” And we sing: “Thine is the glory, risen, conquering Son; endless is the victory thou o’er death hast won!” Yes, when we proclaim “Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!” we proclaim the essential, non-negotiable, and hope-full promise of life everlasting for us and our loved ones.
But there’s more. Resurrection isn’t only about life then, everlasting life after death. It’s also about life now. The apostle Paul emphasizes this in his letter to the church in Rome when he writes: “just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” In the words of one of our Presbyterian catechisms: “By Christ’s power, we too are already now resurrected to a new life.” A new life as subjects in God’s Kingdom. A Kingdom where we turn the other cheek rather than retaliate. A Kingdom where we forgive as the King has forgiven us. A Kingdom where we extend hospitality to the stranger and the refugee, and where we help the poor. A Kingdom where the lost are found, the first are last, and prodigals are welcomed home. A Kingdom of love, where we love even our enemies.
Especially during this fifty-day period of Easter, let’s pray, asking God’s Spirit to empower, lead, guide us to live as loyal subjects in God’s Kingdom, to live our resurrection now—as individual Christians and as the church!
Grace and peace,