Sunday, March 27, 2016

Sunday 3/27/16

Easter is the essential Christian event. Every aspect of the Christian church hinges on Christ's resurrection.

Today's gospel is extremely well written, filled with little particulars (the woman hesitant to enter the tomb, Peter being outrun to the tomb, the meticulous arrangement of the burial cloths, the assumption that the body was stolen--after the assumption by the Pharisees that the apostles would steal it)--all giving misdirection and specificity to what becomes the philosophical earthquake of all time.

Yet how does this all hinge? Hearsay? The interpretation of a sacred book? Amulets and magic rites? No. Amazingly it hinges on us.

By the time Christ rises, we know all the players. We even have some insights about them. They are not revolutionaries, not mystics and, while seemingly sincere, they are not special. They are relatively normal working folks with responsibilities and, probably, annoyed families. As seen by their behavior during the Passion, they are not fully aware of what is happening. Nor are they particularly brave. Yet after this crisis where their leader is tortured and killed they somehow emerge as philosopher and martyrs. They all, to a man, experience a mind-changing, life-changing event. Scattered and leaderless they raise a religious movement that challenges everything in its time and, eventually, forces mighty Rome to adapt.

Christ performed the great, unarguable miracle. It was the behavior of men, people, who confirmed and developed it. No leap of faith was necessary. They were convinced and changed. Then they convinced and changed the world.

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