- Dr. Stuart Lee Sheehan
Not exactly sure where I want to go with this post, but I've had some thoughts coming off of Resurrection Sunday that I'd like to try and unpack.
Mostly fueled by the Paschal Greeting, "He is risen!" To which the traditional response is something like "He is risen, indeed!" I did not know that this was a historically traditional greeting, but I thought as much. People at my church have said it for years so I knew it was tradition. I just didn't know it was Tradition. So, I looked it up and found out it even had a name.
Regardless, and with no intended slight on the historic tradition, I believe you can still "properly" celebrate the resurrection without correctly answering the prompt...
I was corrected Sunday when I responded with "Yes, He is!" I think I responded to someone else with, "And He's still alive today!"
As with many posts in the blogiverse, I'm sure I'm making a mountain out of a mole hill, but I think we had church members "quizzing" guests to see if they'd respond correctly. Not cool.
Like with most church traditions, we need to be careful to not lose sight of the meaning behind them. On Easter we celebrate not only that Christ defeated sin and death, but that He is STILL alive and seated on His throne! "Hallelujah!" is a perfectly acceptable response to "He is risen!" in my book.
The accompanying thought I had about Easter was to remind us all, two days after Easter "proper," that He's still risen! To draw a crude parallel, it's like the University of Texas tradition of announcing the current time while someone else responds with, "And OU still sucks!"
I hope we walk in the victory of Easter every day. That's why Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15 that our preaching and faith are not in vain. We stand in the gospel, he says.
Let's not treat Easter (or Christmas) or any of the accomplished truths of the gospel as "fingers-crossed-hope-it-comes-true" stories. Some of these things should take less faith to celebrate than we're trying to muster...
They are recorded, past-tense, historical (and theological) actualities. Maybe I'm alone in this, but I often find myself acting/living in disbelief even as a believer! Probably a remedial reminder for most of you, but I was convicted this weekend of the truth we walk in already!
Embrace and trust in the completed work of Christ, beloved. Thanks for letting me ramble.