following resurrection

"Jesus never once said 'worship me' but often said 'follow me.'"  

Richard Rohr in Breathing Under Water

"Follow me."

What does that mean on Easter morning?

How do we follow Jesus into resurrection, really, truly, practically, in our everyday lives?

For years, I've loved what Brennan Manning writes about "present risenness" in Abba's Child:

"The present risenness of Jesus as 'life giving Spirit' means that I can cope with anything.  I am not on my own. . . Relying not on my own limited reserves but on the limitless power of the risen Christ I can stare down not only the impostor and the Pharisee, but even the prospect of my impending death."  

When Manning talks about the impostor and the Pharisee, he's talking about the unhealthy inner parts of ourselves that keep us trapped in our real, true, practical everyday lives.

Our impostors lie to ourselves and others about who we really are, and the Pharisee feels superior to others, based on the lies we've told to ourselves and others about who we really are.  

The impending death we fear may be our actual physical death, but it is also--and probably more immediately--the death of our false selves, the death of the impostor and the Pharisee.  

I think most of us will go to deep and desperate places before we have no options left, and we're finally willing to let go and let God.

"Father, into your hands I commend my spirit."

Most of us would far rather keep our spirits right in our own hands, where we have the illusion of safety and control.

Following Jesus into resurrection means not only our eternal life "someday" but also present risenness, here and now, as we bury the impostor and the Pharisee and rise to walk in newness of life:  vulnerable, real, and honest even when that is terrifyingly messy and out of our control.

And while truly putting our Selves into God's hands is not an easy or comfortable process:

We are not on our own.

We do not rely on our own limited resources.

We live by the limitless power of the risen Christ, who has been there before us and shown us the Road.

We each make our own Road, one step at a time, hand in hand with the Love that never, ever lets us go.

Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed.

And Love has come to town, y'all.

Let's get up and dance this Easter morning.

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