Especially at this time of year, we may hear the phrase “we’re resurrection people” a lot — but what does it really mean? To Us. Today.
It has many meanings, I think. It means that we believe in second chances, in new beginnings, in new starts. It means that failure doesn’t have the last word. Even more, it means that death itself doesn’t have the last word. As we say in the creed, “In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us; we are not alone. Thanks be to God!” It means that we experience the risen Christ when we’re in community with others. We experience the Risen Christ in the breaking of the bread very much like the Disciples in Emmaus: “ . . . Jesus was made known to them as he broke the bread.”
Many people aren’t familiar with the Walk to Emmaus scripture. It is not usually preached on Easter — but it did happen on Easter. These disciples, deeply troubled and perplexed by all they had witnessed the previous few days, at once experience the Risen Christ for themselves, in community with one another, with the sacramental breaking of the bread. In that moment they became “resurrection people.”
We’re resurrection people when we strive to look with eyes of faith to see God at work in our world. To see new possibilities in the midst of — and sometimes even in spite of — the brokenness we cannot ignore. We’re resurrection people when we see beyond present circumstances to what will be.
Paul’s favorite image of the church is the body of Christ. We are the body of Christ in the world today. We are a community that is gifted in so many ways to be the hands and feet of Christ, at work in the world today. We are resurrection people because we carry on the ministry of Jesus.
When we anchor our beliefs in the power of new life and the opportunity to begin again — all of that is resurrection living.
In our journey of faith, as individuals and as a faith community, we die to old ways and are born to new ways. This was an image that Paul often presented to make clear that this is not something we experience just once, but over and over again, through each season of our lives, and most particularly during the season of Easter.
Easter, you see, is not a one-time thing. It’s an opportunity we have — every minute and every day, to begin anew in our walk with Jesus.
Emmaus is a place for which the geographical location is not clear — we really have no idea where it was. Perhaps, then, Emmaus is anywhere people experience the risen Christ together — and their eyes are opened to all that means.
I look forward to experiencing the risen Christ with you this Sunday for the glorious celebration of Easter.
Grace and Peace,