Resurrection & Rainbows
Throughout this Season of Easter, I have been thinking deeply about the implications of the Resurrection for you, me, and everyone.
My thoughts have led me down many paths, but the one I'm drawn to follow today has to do with the power of the Resurrection to affect us when we live in the shadows and wonder if we'll ever see the sunlight again.
The prompt for this particular path came from an excellent passage I read from Matthew Fox, who was writing about how difficult it can be to speak words of life to others when we are struggling to feel them for ourselves:
To be Resurrection for another I need to be Resurrection for myself. That means I cannot dwell in [despair] and death and anger and oppression and submission and resentment and pain forever. I need to wake up, get up, rise up, put on life even when days are dark and my soul is down and shadows surround me everywhere….
When I first read this passage, I had to sit briefly and take it in. There's so much truth in every part of it, and it's the kind of thing that almost everyone needs to hear right about now.
Also, it got me thinking about rainbows.
There's this quote from Maya Angelou that I have on the desktop of my computer that I see just about every single day. Most days, I just glance over it on my way to other things, but today it's landing on me:
"Baby, God put a rainbow in the sky."
When I think of the kind of the resurrection Matthew Fox describes when he says that he needs to "wake up, get up, rise up, put on life..." I think of rainbows.
In the book of Genesis, after the Great Flood, God promises Noah that God will never be like the arbitrary, capricious, and distant gods that the ancient Mesopotamians worshipped.
Those gods exacted a high price for loyalty and dispatched human beings without a thought. Those gods were selfish, distant, violent, and haughty.
And to prove this, God put a rainbow in the sky as a reminder that God was intimate, immanent, and not vindictive, destructive, and mean. After the flood waters resided, the rainbow came out.
So when we feel like we can't wake up, get up, rise up, and put on life, we should be reminded that God put a rainbow in the sky.
God isn't against us; God is for us. And Jesus' Resurrection is the ultimate "rainbow" reminder that even the worst things are not the last things.
When the shadows surround you, remember this well. Before you can truly find ways to live out the truth of the Resurrection with others, to be light in the world around you, you have to believe it for yourself first.
Wake up. Get up. Rise up. Put on life. There's a rainbow in the sky. The sun shines through it, making the colors come to life. The shadows can't stand that kind of light and color.
May it be so for you, me, and all of us. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.