From Fear to Hope: From Obliteration to Resurrection

Three Easter Mandalas
An acrylic paining of three overlapping, brightly colored mandalas with Easter themes over an inverted triangle with fiery colors. Image courtesy of Rachael Keefe

The invitation to live in resurrection, to make it real.

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We made it through a Lent of naming and confronting our fears with the help of the Prophet Amos. Thank you to all who helped make this Lent and Easter a rich and meaningful experience. A special thanks to the RAT and our skit writers.

As I mentioned on Sunday, the Saturday morning Bible study group watched a series of lectures by John Dominic Crossan who is a historical Jesus scholar. Early in the series Crossan said, “A metaphor is real when people live it.”

This statement is provocative and significant. Resurrection has been a challenge for Christians to explain for centuries. Crossan’s approach allows us to let the mystery remain instead of trying to provide an explanation of what happened that first Easter morning.

Beyond this, though, is the invitation to live in resurrection, to make it real.

We all have fears, some we addressed this Lent. It is easy to get lost in fear – fear of everything from inadequacy to obliteration, and all points in between. It doesn’t help when so many people in power use fear to sustain their positions and keep us divided one from another.

Jesus lived in a world that was dominated by the Roman Empire. He knew something about leaders who use fear to oppress, disempower, divide, and conquer. Jesus sought to counteract fear with Love, a Love that fosters and nourishes hope. Hopelessness is the tool of Empire. Love is it’s undoing.

My hope for us all as we move through this Easter season is to remember that we follow One who brought Divine Love into the world, and invites us to do the same. The messages of fear are all around us. We don’t have to give in to them. We don’t have to give up our power to love and to heal and to hope.

I truly believe that humanity has what it needs to do better. We have the technology and resources to heal the planet, feed the hungry, care for the sick and so much more. Fear is what stops us. Following Jesus means moving out of fear and trusting that God’s ways are enough, that the way of Love is truly stronger than the way of fear.

We all literally signed on to Hope on Easter when we initialed our Hope banner. Of course this doesn’t mean we won’t be afraid anymore. Fear is powerful. However, when we gather together, we are reminded that resurrection, new life, is possible when we live it.

Let’s live resurrection together this Easter season and beyond.


About Rachael Keefe

Rev. Dr. Rachael Keefe is the pastor of Living Table United Church of Christ. She was called to Living Table in 2015 after serving in many varied ministry settings since her ordination in 1992. She holds graduate degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary and Andover Newton Seminary at Yale (formerly Andover Newton Theological School). Her ministry and leadership often center around advocacy and accessibility. Her writing has been published by Chalice Press, The Christian Century, Red Letter Christians, Working Preacher, RevGalBlogPals, and others. She is grateful to be in ministry with Living Table today.

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