I was at an ecclesiastical council today. In the United Church of Christ, that is when a person seeking ordination is supposed to defend their faith. They have jumped through the hoops and have written a paper about their beliefs and why they want to be a UCC pastor and the group of gathered pastors and lay people grill them. So one question asked today was: “ Tell me what you believe about the resurrection?” A question that many of us struggle with: is it real literal resurrection of the body or is it metaphorical? Something from our position here 2000 years later we cannot prove or disprove. We can only have faith. The trouble is that what does having faith in the resurrection mean? Is it something we just know or is it something we just feel? When I was talking to my son about it I said I would answer with the gospel of Mark approach. The gospel ends with an empty tomb and women fleeing in fear. We are asked to go on ahead to Galilee where we will again meet Jesus. Galilee the place where ministry began, where Jesus healed the sick, cured the lame, brought sight to the blind, set the captives free, fed the hungry crowds, and shared the stories about the in breaking kingdom. So Mark gives us a call and a challenge in the resurrection. There is no proof of a risen savior just a command to go to Galilee.
The song I was going to write about today since I’m taking the first one to appear when I hit shuffle was “One Step Closer.” The story is that Bono was eating lunch with a friend and talking about his dad dying and how his dad was losing faith. The friend said to him well at least he is one step closer to knowing. I think that is one of the points we need to understand about the resurrection. It does not have to be a litmus test that says you are truly in or as Heidi says “you’re out.” To be a Jesus Freak is about following and getting a step closer ever day. Each day you take one more action that places you closer to God; you learn one more thing about yourself that helps you grow into the child of God you were meant to become; you help one more person. It isn’t about finally figuring it all out, we can’t. Isn’t that why Jesus speaks in parables, so that each time we get it, we are: “One step closer to knowing / One step closer to knowing / One step closer to knowing / To knowing, to knowing, to knowing.”