Cheap Resurrection vs. Gratitude

In his Reaching Out, Henri Nouwen writes:

To the degree that we have been able to dispel our illusion of immortality and have come to the full realization of our fragile mortal condition, we can reach out in freedom to the creator and re-creator of life and respond to his gifts with gratitude.

The inverse of this is that we are unable to reach out and experience this re-creation if we are still living as though it is “a given” that our life is going to last forever. In-between Good Friday and Easter, there was no resurrection, and without facing that reality in our own lives, we will soon be celebrating a “Cheap Resurrection”, very much like a “Cheap Grace” that loses its’ reverence for the scandalous love of God. Later in that same work, Nouwen says: “The mystery of God’s presence, therefore, can be touched only by a deep awareness of his absence”.

Tomorrow, Christians celebrate, and rightly with deep joy. But do we really have deep joy? Does the Resurrection hit you with the visceral immediacy that such a ridiculous belief should? I suspect it’s the lack of owning up to our transient flesh and bones that prevents the same over-the-top response that the first apostles had. Let’s spend a few minutes remembering what the world was before Easter, laying down our defenses against seeing how small we are, so that the living Christ can fill us now with that same power that conquered the grave.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s