He is risen! He is risen indeed. Alleluia!
Holy Week is upon us. This is the most sacred time of the year. We gather in worship on Maundy Thursday to remember Jesus’ command to serve one another and his gift of a new understanding of the Passover meal. The institution of Holy Communion stands as our moment of grace that fortifies us to face the hubris and evil of our ways and days. On Good Friday, we gather to remember the arrest, trial and crucifixion of Jesus. Making time to die with Christ gives us even more reason to live with him.
To “rise” is one of those words that offers many definitions. One can rise out of bed. One can rise to the occasion. One can even rise above the fray. But only one has “Risen”. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said, “Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” Matthew 28:6
The Biblical Dictionary says about the word “risen”: The verb εγειρω (egeiro) means to awaken, incite, rouse or rise. There’s no proper English equivalent of this verb but it indicates the opposite of being inactive and inattentive (or asleep) and is as such used figuratively to describe a becoming alert or focused, or getting underway on a journey or perhaps en route to an understanding.
Our verb is often translated with terms like “rise” or “awaken” but the emphasis lies on the gathering up of one’s scattered thoughts or unconscious attentions and bundling these into a unified purpose. I wonder if sometimes we get glimpses of the resurrection whenever we awaken to an act of justice or gather our thoughts into a specific purpose of good? I wonder if such instances set us on the path to complete resurrection? If you go by this understanding of Jesus rising, then you participate in the ongoing acts of resurrection. It’s a weighty thing – to rise. When you accompany someone to confront an unfair act – you rise. When you give to the food bank – you rise. When you fill bags for Church on the Street – you rise.
Have you found a reason to rise today? What woke you up to action for God? We have many things going on at Hope Lutheran that aligns us with resurrection. Come on! We are risen! We are risen indeed. Alleluia.
Pastor Lynnae I Sorensen