The rolled-away stone makes us the carried-away people, the people carried by Christ as He rises, pulling up the whole of the cosmos with Him.
Wheat seeds grow in our line of terra cotta pots.
In the centre of the oak farm table, the finish wearing through to the greying grain, kernels that have fallen dead resurrect green sprouts and the forty nights between Easter and Ascension, between the rising and the rising, each night when the meal candle flickers, child faces hover over dirt with seeds pinched hopeful between index and thumb. The kernel’s plunged into earth with the humble liturgical proclamation: “Today I grew up in Christ when I ….”
What is the worth of the resurrection if it doesn’t raise us up?
Some nights kids think hard. Some nights kids don’t plant. When a stranger asks curly-haloed Shalom if she’s a nice little girl, she declares all sparkly and round eyed, “Why of course! I’m growing up in Christ!” Then turns to me in a whisper, pats my leg like a gentle knock, “Remember all my wheat seeds growing high, Mama?” Some times Mamas laugh the grateful joy.
And every night a mama sits with a table of ragamuffin disciples and she thinks about practicing resurrection, all the dead places in this place rising, about what it means to be His witnesses, the kind that brave the world with the bold wild that can’t stop being told, everywhere told, “Nietzsche got it all wrong and I have seen and I bear witness and my blood courses on and on and on with the news that has to be told: God is alive, Alive!“
The Farmer, the one who spends his late Aprils planting hundred of acres of seeds in the terra firma, he just keeps reading it every time we push away the plates, every night of the season of Easter:
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
And I keep murmuring it while I gather the plates, “You will be my witnesses… witnesses… witnesses.” The God-see-ers.
I pick up plates and I pick up the thought like a coin, turn it over, both sides: A witness who has seen, touched the wounds, then turns, a witness telling the world of the seeing, of all the wounds healed.
Levi trickles the last of the dinner’s water pitcher into the row of terra cotta pots, hope of the Easter people growing up, and I pray for the eyes unveiled and wide open, to see the glory first-hand, for the lips to be loosed and the heart to be courage, to tell of the plain and the broad-daylight miracle.
The Christians, the Easter believers, we’ve really seen Him — haven’t we? — we, all of us, the Christians are the one who bear witness to Christ, then bear Christ to the world. Us carried up by Christ, us carried-away with Christ, us carrying Christ out into the streets. Us the Christ-bearers.
“We’re planting seeds just like you, Dad.” Levi’s smile spreads, water pitcher in hand. “Cultivating and planting and waiting for our crop.”
And I see The Farmer wink his way, I see, and I bear witness and cultivating faith is the opening of the eyes, the witnesses bearing the seeds of truth, the broadcasting far and wide of the kernels of the Christ alive and beheld.
“The early disciples had little ritual but a might realization. They went out not remembering Christ, but experiencing him. He was not a mere fair and beautiful story to remember with gratitude — he was a living and redemptive actual presence then and there…
Some have suggested that the early Christians conquered the pagan world because they out-thought, out-lived and out-died the pagans. But that was not enough: they out-experienced them…
If, as it has been suggested, all great literature is autobiography, then all great appeals to the non-Christian world must be witness.
Every Wednesday, we Walk with Him, posting a spiritual practice that draws us nearer to His heart.To read the entire series of spiritual practices
Next Week: Consider sharing in community: (Part Two of Living the Easter People): Cultivating the Life God Desires … We look forward to your creative voice, ideas, thoughts!
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