The resurrection, or experience of the risen Christ, does not leave us where we were found.
I was asked to write an editorial for a weekly Catholic newspaper (you can find the editorial here). As the editorial was to be published on Easter Sunday, the subject matter was obvious – something about the resurrection.
In writing the editorial I found myself struck by the idea that two things were necessary for emergence of Christianity. Firstly, the resurrection. Without this, Christianity has no meaning. The resurrection is what makes the gospel message. This is the central hope. But the spread of the gospel required something more, it required the disciples to step up in a new way.
These men and women, these followers of Jesus, had to become proclaimers of the Word. They had to respond to the new challenge, the new invitation. And their lives (never mind ours and countless others down the centuries) were never the same again. They had begun as followers of charismatic preacher, and ended as martyrs. They didn’t sign on for that, but they got the Word out there sufficiently that it still lasts today.
So does the same hold true for us? I think so. I know that who I am is deeply influenced by my faith.
The encounter with the risen Christ always offers a new path. It may not happen right away, it may take some living into, but always sooner or later there is a choice to be made. A choice which will have a significant impact on your life.
For some that choice will be one major life changing event. For others, an accumulation of hundreds of small decisions. For some the choice is made at the beginning of the journey with Jesus, for others, it happens much later.
But in the end, we are all transformed by grace. We are not left where we were found.
The resurrection offers hope. A hope which the world cannot give.