Tomorrow, on Easter Sunday, I plan to continue my tradition of attending a service at a United Methodist Church. I will join with the congregation as they sing, commemorate, pray, reflect and listen in the context of the mystery of the resurrection of Christ from the dead.
Many around me in the pews will be focused on the belief of Christ’s “bodily” resurrection—and its status, for that matter, as the only resurrection that history has ever known…one that foreshadows our own bodily resurrection into imperishable life. I once held this belief as well; and while I wholeheartedly embrace any person’s right to interpret the resurrection of Christ as they see fit, I’m excited that my faith system is no longer limited to a single individual, a single religion—or, even, the concretization of resurrection as mere flesh and blood.
The celebrated resurrection, I believe, is representative of something far more valuable and universal than the motif of a single man dying and being born again for the world. It points to the advancement of consciousness—or awareness of our own divine nature—that is available to every person in every era of history. Death is more fully interpreted not as the perishing of mortal flesh, but as a chosen or ignorant separation from the “God consciousness” that Jesus Christ so ably understood and practiced. Many have already died while continuing to breathe.
Only when we surrender to the flowering awareness of our own divinity do we crucify the fleshly, dualistic belief that we are somehow separate from a being we call God, Yahweh, Allah, and so forth. “Christ in us, the hope of glory,” St. Paul asserted.
It’s sad that many will leave church tomorrow still clinging to a god who is too small; mostly convinced that the rest of the non-Christian world “has it wrong,” while personally and secretly bearing an uneasy sense that another Lenten season has passed and they still remain aloof from said god.
I’ve “broken up” with Christianity as my steady spiritual partner, but we’re quite still friends! Therefore, it is a wondrous celebration for me to sing, “Because he lives, I can face tomorrow,” and other great hymns of the Church. I rejoice beyond the words, to what they represent. Christ has pointed the way toward the truth and life that are already latent within each of us, and reminds us that eternal life has begun.
We need simply to become more present and aware of the Easter we already possess. Hallelujah!