Clergy View: God is still speaking
"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." (Isaiah 43:19, NIV)
Happy Easter! I know what you're thinking; Easter happened weeks ago! I was in a store last week and noticed that red white and blue, and stars and stripes of Memorial Day and Fourth of July decorations had replaced the pastels and bunnies of Easter. But did you know Easter is not just a day—it's a season! We are currently in the fifth week of the season of Eastertide which is the 50 days beginning with Easter and ending on Pentecost. In this consumption-driven world, our attention is rarely encouraged to linger in the present moment and instead we are quickly pushed into the next holiday or season and encouraged to buy all the products we "must have" to really enjoy it. But what if we allowed ourselves to linger on the message of the resurrection for the full 50 days?
Whether you believe the resurrection literally happened as a historical event, or you believe the resurrection is a metaphor or allegory, both ways of believing open up truths about the nature of God and how we might approach this season of Eastertide. God continues to shatter our preconceived ideas and invites us into new possibilities we may not have previously imagined. The followers of Jesus were certain death had snuffed out the life and ministry of Jesus for good. But God had other plans. Death did not have the last word and Jesus' life and ministry continued (and continues to this day) to change hearts and lives of individuals and communities.
In this Easter season, I wonder if we are willing to admit God continues to shatter our preconceived ideas. Are we willing to admit we don't have it all figured out? Might we be humble enough to consider God's creative and imaginative work in the world and in our hearts didn't end in the fifth century when humans decided certain religious texts of the Christian church should be organized and contained in one book?
In the United Church of Christ we say "God is Still Speaking." We seek to be aware of the ways in which God continues to reveal God's self in the world beyond the written text of the Bible.
In this final week of Easter, I invite you to set your awareness on the ways in which God might be doing a new thing in your life and in the world. How might God be challenging our expectations and our assumptions? Are there beliefs or ideas we are clinging to because it's what we've always believed might need to be re-imagined? A God who called the worlds into being certainly has the power and the imagination to continue to surprise us. May we be willing to listen.