At the beginning of the year, I decided that I would follow the liturgical calendar for my morning readings. I am not at all a liturgical sort of person, but I feel like there’s a beauty in it that I generally miss, so I felt like it would be a good spiritual exercise. I’ve had so many themes going through my head between various readings and services over the weekend, but what liturgical reflections are really good for are reminding us of the simple reality of what we’re observing. Not focusing on the theology of it necessarily, but just reminding ourselves that He is risen.
Reading about Jesus’ appearances to the Twelve after His resurrection is like reading a science-fiction novel. He still had His physical body, as Thomas could tell you, but He also functioned outside of the limitations of a physical body…appearing in locked rooms without using doors, for example. We can infer from this that, after we are raised, we will be the same.
Lewis famously talked about how the world that we can’t see…the spiritual realm…is so much more real than the realm that we can. Earlier this week, there was a significant wind storm where we live. The wind was invisible, but the effects of it (including my trash can being tipped over at the curb) were very real and observable. So it is with the spiritual…while we can’t see it, we can see its effects all around us, even if we do try to explain them away.
Reading about someone rising from the dead smacks of nonsense to us because of our cultural tendency toward empiricism. There is no room for the mystical in our minds…only what we can observe and quantify. Yet, reading about the Resurrection leads us into a very real spiritual plane which exists alongside the physical world that we can sense, a reality at least just as real as our physical existence. That’s the reality that I want to focus on moving forward from Easter, the very real experience of a Savior whose body was never found.
He is risen indeed.