Practice Resurrection: Tomb-Centered Christianity?

We go to the woods to witness the rising.

We have front row seats at the edge of the marsh. We wait. The dog splashes too loud. We wait longer.

It’s true: It could be said that I don’t believe in the resurrection of Christ.



We wait for the pond to open, for the frogs to rise, for the shining of wet backs, for the flash of eyes, the glinting gold, and we hold breath, waiting for lifesong to rise out of winter’s grave, and I don’t believe in the resurrection of Christ when I live like all the painful things are all the final things.

We wait before the pond, round and still like a stone.

The marsh water’s seeping into my socks, hope leeching.

There’s a crow at the top of the maple, calling. Crying.




Who am I to stand here, all leaning for the coming forth? I don’t believe in resurrection when I live like good can’t come of graves, like triumph doesn’t emerge from tombs.

I deny the bodily resurrection of Christ when I believe the past is a period, that dark is a death sentence, that discouragement is the end of the sentence.

Aren’t the deniers of the resurrection of Christ those who don’t believe that a new Kingdom has cracked this hard, groaning world, that a dangerous new order of grace sings through all the dark, that all creation hears the symphony and captives now run free?



We had heard the long frog song from the front porch and this is what had beckoned us to come to the woods, to come running. Our snapping through the woods, the dog barking, this had had startled them. The waters and frog song snapped shut. So we kneel, believing. Grace comes to those who wait, the waiting itself a grace.

Malakai motions for the dog to go.

We’re like rocks on the rim.

What if I lived the Empty-Tomb Life?

A mind can turn things over, waiting for a refrain from the depths. The sun’s warm on my neck. What if a Gospel-centric life really turned like a rock on Resurrection Sunday?

What if my faith looked more like an appalling empty cave than only nails and a hammer?

Tomb-Centered Christians believe in the centrality of the cross, but more — they believe in certainty of the living Christ. They believe in lifebreath out of stench, in rising out of rot, in a God who says touch my scars, I breathe today.

It’s a dead faith that doesn’t believe in a God who’s rising out of all the dark places.

I breathe deep.

This living resurrection — it could revive. Everything. Isn’t the shocking power that raised up Christ now working power in me? Isn’t that what we believe?

Hope points. She sees a glimmer. I smile, nod.

“Do you see them coming? They’re rising!” She mouths it, her hair blowing, a banner.




Can I, a mother, believe?

Because this making of people, this creating, this is to suffer. Christ knows.

I watch Hope kneeling. Malakai waits on the far side of the pond, his reflection laying long. I wait for life to emerge and I watch my children, waiting too, everyday, us all yearning for risings. In this quiet before, we all find our faces in this liquid mirror. I ache a bit in this still. I have failed them and there have been nails. We’ve thrown toast and I have held my head in my hands. I have ranted and and they have railed and shrouds have bound us.

No one told me: Every womb that brings forth life will be wounded. Or this: Daily, a mother must die… and believe in rebirth.

I reach over to Hope, brush one strand from her face.

She smiles, patient. How long have we sat beside each other here, just being, just listening, just waiting?

It’s always out of the empty spaces that all the living things come forth. Slowing down, it too is a way to practice resurrection.

Hope stirs… stands. She moves across the gilded grasses.

She’s looking for glory coming. She’s hunched and seeking the peepers pushing back the rock of cold. I watch how she moves soundless, slow. We wait for resurrection with open hands. Under the surface, song waits.






And I turn and it comes like the rising always does, unexpected, when you turn and you’ve got spices for a burial and He says your name and the gardener’s actually God and He means to grow you, and that’s when song breaks forth from the marsh, a refrain of resurrection, the frogs come up to the sun, their flash of wee body, this hymn of unrestrained glory.

And across the water, Malakai looks up, looks over, looks like he might walk across water, his face breaking forth wonder, his faith in risings alive and unleashed in a world spinning in His unwrapped symphony ….




{Come to the woods with us — to hear the resurrection symphony? If reading in a reader, consider clicking here to watch & listen to the song of frogs…}

And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain… ~ 1 Cor 15:14

This season of Resurrection, we’re humbly endeavoring to intentionally live the celebration of Easter, reflecting on what it means to practice resurrection as we observe the 40 days from Resurrection Sunday to Ascension.

Related: What if More than Celebrating Easter, we lived it
Slowing to hear the Song — the coming of the frogs from a few years ago

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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

As we walk with Him this season, might we consider: The Practice of Living Resurrection. We look forward to your thoughts, stories, ideas….

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