John Bennison Words and Ways

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Resurrection Is Only Change

A Brief Reflection for the Observance of Good Friday and Easter

A pdf version to print and read is here.

Everything must change,
Nothing stays the same.
Everyone must change
Nothing stays the same.
The young become the old,
Mysteries do unfold.
‘Cause that’s the way of time
Nothing and no one goes unchanged.”
                  Benard Ighner, singer/songwriter

Recently I’ve become aware of some significant changes occurring in the personal lives of some of the folks that gather in our monthly Pathways circle. Some changes are welcome, while some are not. It’s a mixed bag. It all reminds me, once again, of the only constant thing in our lives. It is the progressive changes that continue unabated, with whatever number of days we are each randomly accorded. Me included.

This is no startling new revelation, but rather a reawakening for me. I’ve awoken early to put these few thoughts together on what I was somehow reminded is the annual observance of Good Friday in the Christian faith tradition.

So, someone’s dying. Again. Or rather, something for someone is dying. Or, as part of an old prayer I used to religiously recite — but do no more — put it,  things which were cast down are… being raised up” andthings which had grown old are being made new.”

As lyrical as those lines were, I’ve always thought they were a bit misleading; at least as misleading as the word “resurrection.” In this very real world, it’s never about some clinging, clasping vain hope of changelessness with this mortal package. Resurrection isn’t about some kind of restoration or resuscitation of that which is dead and gone. Instead, it’s about now, and next, and only for the time being.

Resurrection isn’t about some kind of restoration or resuscitation of that which is dead and gone. Instead, it’s about now, and next, and only for the time being.

Going through the process of dying to what is dead and gone is called grief. Sometimes its accompanied by regret. Periodically some commemorate it, and call it Good Friday. It’s about letting go of that which is no more; with nothing more than what that same quaint old prayer book used to refer to as a “sure and certain hope” something will follow; at least for the time being.

It’s the reason all those different gospel accounts are really only about an empty tomb, not resurrection. It’s the absence of what once was, and is no more. And all the so-called post-resurrection stories are really only about how we might look again to see and hear the Galilean sage with open eyes and ears, hearts and hands.

Just recall the way those first mythic tales were retold for us. He is, at first, unrecognizable in the garden or while walking along the Emmaus road; but remains untouchable, or vanishes from sight once hearts are finally warmed by the parables of now and next which — previously uttered — are now recollected. He walks through locked doors, and is carried away on the wind. He is flesh and blood no more, and never will be again. Let him go.

And for now, let’s just consider how everything must change, and nothing stays the same. I can see it in the mirror when I rise. I can see it outside my window on a crisp April morn. Change is in the wind. But it’s only the wind. It’s nothing more, and need be nothing more. And the wind blows where it will.

 

© 2017 by John William Bennison, Rel.D. All rights reserved.
This article may be used or reproduced with proper credit.

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