Practice Resurrection

Originally Appeared in : 9808-4/12/18

When I was a little girl, our neighborhood had an Easter sunrise service every year in the open green space of the backyards. One year, several men got up on the roofs of the homes near the gathering. As the sun came up, the men started shouting at the top of their lungs, “He is risen!” We heard the shouts from one roof, and then another and then all the men shouting at the same time.


He is risen. He is risen!


All these years later that Easter stands out to me. Those men, up on the roofs, amazed and excited by Jesus’ resurrection. They were shouting in amazement, like it had just happened. He IS risen, and it’s something to shout about!


Sure it was a little crazy — but what about the Resurrection isn’t a little crazy?


As over-the-top as their shouting might have seemed, can you imagine, have you taken the time to really think, what it meant to Jesus’ disciples and to discover that somehow the impossible had happened? Maybe it’s weird to get on a roof and shout about it all these years later, but really, what this resurrection means for us, to this day, is worthy of our crazy.
We’re lucky. Unlike the first disciples, we know how the story will end. We don’t have to endure the pain of Good Friday without the hope of Easter Sunday. We’ve read the story; we’ve spent our whole lives knowing. The Resurrection is pretty mind-blowing when you think about it, but it can also be easy for us to get complacent. 


I’ve been awed this year in particular, by God’s creativity in the resurrection. He promised his people a savior, a king. And what his people spent years waiting for was what God promised, that he had “raised up for us a mighty savior, born of the house of his servant David.”


But he sent his son, in the form of a tiny, helpless baby. And that son grew into a man, who was then nailed to a cross and died. And none of this sounds terribly powerful or mighty — until God astounds us all with the unpredictable detail that even the act of death would not have the final say. In this story, the story of our salvation, God defeats death through the act of resurrection, a narrative far more powerful and mighty than anything we would have imagined.


And so, we now have resurrection, the Resurrection, as the key to freedom for each one of us. We have seen first-hand the power of our God, that what looks like the end is not the end. What looks like overpowering sadness is in fact the beginning of the greatest gift we will ever receive. 


“Be joyful though you have considered all the facts,” says the poet Wendell Berry in his poem “Manifesto.” “Love the Lord. Love the world. Work for nothing. Take all that you have and be poor. Love someone who does not deserve it. Practice resurrection.”


Practice resurrection.


Live your life like what you are most afraid of is nothing to fear at all. See the hard times not as an end but the beginning of something beautiful and good and better than you could have dreamed. Live this in your own life and believe it for your loved ones. How many times have the hardships of my day turned into something that made me stronger and closer to God — how many tears have turned into the gift God was trying to give me?


When it comes to celebrating Easter, maybe we don’t need to climb up on the top of a house and yell at the top of our lungs. But how amazing would it be to live life just a notch down from that, to walk around with an acute knowledge of just what it meant — what it means — to render death and sadness powerless in our lives?


He is risen! We can shout it with our hearts and minds and with every ounce of how we live our lives.


Rachel Swenson Balducci is a freelance writer and member of Most Holy Trinity Church, Augusta. She can be reached at

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