Jesus Is Still Risen

This week in Austin, the community was rocked by a senseless, violent attack on students at the University of Texas campus.  Harrison Brown, a nineteen year-old freshmen, died after being stabbed, and several others were severely wounded. 

I have been thinking and praying for the family of the young man who died.  I have also been thinking deeply about how easily it could have been our family, who received the horrible, earth-shattering phone call that Harrison's parents received this week.  

You see, my oldest son had been in the exact spot where the attack took place, just twenty minutes before it happened.  If he and a friend hadn't decided to leave and go somewhere else to hang out, they would have been in the midst of it.

I don't have any real answers as to why my son was spared and someone else's son wasn't. There are evil things that happen in the world, and sometimes the effects of those evil things land on us, and sometimes they don't.  

Even Jesus said, "[God] causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."  

I don't know what to say in the face of these kinds of tragedies.  I don't know if there is some hidden meaning, some purpose that I can't see at the moment.   I don't know a lot of things.  

If we're being honest, the euphoria of Resurrection Sunday has faded for most of us, and has been replaced by a host of cares, an endless array of troubling news, and a heaping helping of life-as-we-know-it.  

However, there is one thing I do know: Today is the 18th Day of the Season of Easter on the official, ancient and historic church calendar.  

Why is that random fact important?  Why should we care about the seasons of the ancient, and historic church calendar?  Because it reminds of something else that we can know with a great deal of certainty:  

Jesus is still risen.  

I read this incredible quote today from theologian Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt that speaks directly into the power that the Resurrection has for those of us in this in-between kind of space.  He wrote: 

"Christ's future is not one single point in an absolute remoteness for which we are to wait, a mere coming event.  This is hardly thinkable, for we would probably all go to sleep over it.  Christ's future is now, or it is not at all."  

In the midst of all the tragedies and triumphs that we are confronted with on a daily basis... In endless cycle of sunshine and rain... In our weakness and frailty when it feels like that evil is winning... the Risen Christ even now walks among us, still renewing, restoring, reconciling and resurrecting.  

Jesus is alive, beloved.  And because Jesus is alive, you also can live... now, right now, today, at this moment.  

So, live.  Go out into the world to live in joy and defiant hope, and know that the darkness cannot, will not ever overcome the Light.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen. 


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