You go ahead and tell me:
What if the chamber of His heart in that clammy tomb hadn’t began to quiver in the silent dark; hadn’t pounded against His chest like He was pounding at the door of our own tomb, because letting Him in is our only way out?
What if His scar-mangled hands hadn’t taken the slow careful moments to fold His grave clothes, like He was tenderly dressing our wounds, wrapping our rawest places so new hope can always unfold in us?
“Death is forever dead & Jesus is always alive!”
What if His eyes hadn’t flickered open in the pitch dark, the only glimmer of real light in the entire galaxy, stars to guide us home instead of being trapped in a strangling black?
What if there was no place to go with all
this ache in being human?
What if Jesus
Hadn’t taken us?
In all the universe, there is only one place to go now, only one.
And in the form of a Gardener, He returns again to walk in the garden, not in the cool of the evening, but in the rising warmth of the dawn, & on Resurrection Morning, the Practice of Resurrection is begun first by the Rising Women, women who are the first witnesses to the risen Lord, the first evangelists, the first to who go ahead and speak and tell the Good News of the Best News the world has ever wakened to:
Death is forever dead & Jesus is always alive!
“He buys back the busted, & takes back the abandoned, & all the walking dead comeback to new life, because the old world & ways have died in the night, & it is now Resurrection RISING Morning.“
And it’s all for you. For all your regrets & for all your impossibles,
for all that will never be and for all that once was,
for all that you can’t make right & for all that you got wrong,
for your Judas failures & your Peter denials and your Lazarus griefs,
Jesus takes the nails, the sharp edge of everything,
and offers to take you Himself,
because He wants you, He wants to take you, you in your wild grief, you in your anger & your disappointment & your wounds & your not-yet-there-you, you just as you are, not some improved version of you, but you.
He came for you, to hold you, to carry you, to literally save you. And our God is not a God to merely believe, but to experience,
not to only believe in, but be held by, a God who not only breaks for you — but breaks with you, a God to not only have creeds about — but to have communion with you, the God who touches you & binds you & blesses you & heals you.
It may have looked like a fool’s day, but the Risen Wisdom of the World is that:
He buys back the busted,
& takes back the abandoned,
& all the walking dead comeback to new life,
because the old world & ways have died in the night, & it is now Resurrection RISING Morning.
“All the painful feelings aren’t final because He said: It is finished.“
Only because that tomb is empty, our lives aren’t.
Only because that tomb is empty are our souls fulfilled.
Only because that stone is rolled back does the surest Hope come back.
All the painful feelings aren’t final because He said: It is finished.
Go and speak and tell all the world like
The Women God first calls, first commissions, first claims as bearers of the new beginning, women who may not have been seen by culture as credible witnesses, but Jesus saw them as His choice witnesses of the Revolutionary Story that turns everything that is around, the story we’ve got to go and tell:
Fold up all you’ve kept shrouded & walk out.
“No shame, no blame, no stain & no grave can now bury anyone who claim His name.“
Lay down your skeletons & leave.
Take off the old you & take off.
No shame, no blame, no stain & no grave can now bury anyone who claim His name.
The walking dead
now carry a living hope.
Christ’s conviction on the cross made Him your grave robber & you His witness.
So now you’ve got to be like the first witnesses, The Women,
who know their incredible worth to Christ,
who know their immense calling in Christ,
who know their irrevocable gift through Christ,
Who realize that that though there may be a debate about the role of women, it cannot be denied that Jesus determined that every woman’s role, every human being’s role, is being intimately close to Him, being fully seen by Him, deeply known by Him, personally named by Him, & powerfully entrusted to Go and tell and speak and tell this story till the end of time and we all go on to glory.
On Resurrection Morning, Jesus chose that “The Apostle to the Apostles” — the apostle who got to go and tell this glorious story to the other apostles about the rising Good News of the Gospel — would be A Woman.
“The rocks have cried out & your stone has rolled &, like Mary in that Garden, Jesus has called your name, the one that He has written right into His hands, & you get to rise.”
This is your Lazarus moment.
What was deadening you, is dead.
What was suffocating & strangling you, is finished.
When Christ walked out of that grave, you walked out too.
Christ’s rising is your rising and if Christ rises still carrying His scars of suffering – the scarred, suffering ones can still be the rising ones.
The rocks have cried out & your stone has rolled &, like Mary in that Garden, Jesus has called your name, the one that He has written right into His hands, & you get to rise.
Christ rises with His scars because your name is written right into His scars & He can’t bear to leave you behind — He means for you to rise too.
And everywhere in this new world, we will be like A Woman, like The Women, like The Risen Christ Himself, and
go & be the Presence of Resurrection,
go & relentlessly Practice Resurrection
go & embody the Power of the Resurrection,
go & be the interminably Rising People.
Yeah, go head and rise and speak and tell the whole limping world just the miracle of all that.
I sat in a room in Nashville over a year ago now, with Ellie Holcomb and Sarah MacIntosh, and together we wrote a song. A song from the perspective of Mary Magdalene… a song about A Woman who was in the Garden on Resurrection, Rising Morning.
Who knew that a deep, unspoken pain of so many years — would be healed through this little God-breathed song that pulses with the heartbeat of the Father for His daughters, a song that sings Jesus sees us, Jesus wants us, Jesus rises for us — how can we not go and speak?
“I have seen the Lord
I will speak of Him
And nobody could talk me out of it
I have seen the Lord
And my Lord’s seen me
Oh He said my name
And told me
Go and speak
Of what you’ve seen”
This past week, our little song, A Woman, a seeing song, a healing song, a telling song, was invited to the Today Show and Amy Grant and Ellie Holcomb got to go and speak and tell the glory story of Jesus’s rising to millions. They got to go and speak of a project that we are all part of, called The Faithful Project:
“Highlighting God’s faithfulness to women throughout Scripture and all the way to present, Faithful collects stories, lyrics, photos, and art created and curated by some of the most thought-provoking and influential Christian artists and authors of our time.
The Faithful book and the album, FAITHFUL: Go and Speak, will be available Saturday, May 1, 2021. To celebrate the launch of this project there will be a ticketed livestream event on Saturday, May 1 as well, produced by Compassion International. Stay tuned after the May 1 livestream event, album and book launch, for the release of the Faithful podcast.”
I would absolutely love if you, as one of the Rising People, called to be a part of this glory story — would Come and Join Us?
“So I will run and tell the story of
The world denied, stayed buried, but it is still alive
Spirit’s setting tongues on fire
All the Heaven’s singing glory, glory, glory
Trees are clapping, clapping, clapping
Rocks are shouting, shouting, shouting
And then there’s me, a woman —
And I will speak
Of what I’ve seen
I will go and speak….”