Thursday, April 12, 2007

rumours of resurrection

Just read this week's lectionary text (Acts 5:12-32, more or less). What a delightful - rather hilarious, actually - "resurrection" story, in the most unlikely of places.

These are the same disciples, after all, who had abandoned Jesus and watched as he was arrested, tried, tortured, and executed.

The same disciples who at the end of John's gospel keep meeting in fear, behind locked doors - and the risen Jesus keeps breaking into their room, somehow, and saying bizarre things like "Peace be with you" and "as the Father sent me, so I send you..."

The same disciples who at the end of Luke have heard rumours of resurrection, some have even seen the empty tomb, but don't know what to make of it and are disbanding anyway.

But by Acts 5 things have changed, the Spirit has come, there is a community that is living in radically counter-cultural ways, "signs and wonders" are going on, and the authorities, of course, are getting nervous...

So they have the apostles thrown in the "public prison"... and when they get the whole governing body together and summon the prisoners, THEY'RE NOT THERE! The prison (tomb) is EMPTY!

"Then someone arrived and announced - Look, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!"

The resurrection continues... thank God... and there ain't no authority on earth that can keep it down...

The other day I got a message from Kendra, who's been doing some great writing based on experiences we had as part of a learning group in Colombia last August... You can read some of her stuff (along with some great photos by Mark) here and here and here... living, breathing stories of resurrection and new life emerging from violence and death...

"The high priest questioned them, saying, "We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with his teaching and you are determined to bring this man's blood on us." But Peter and the apostles answered, "We must obey God rather than any human authority... we are witnesses to these things..."



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