A couple of years ago it occured to me that we spend a lot of time in church talking about what practices to take on for Lent, but when Easter comes, the glorious season of resurrection, we slip back into our ordinary lives. Hopefully we arrive transformed by our Lenten journey, but the season of Easter is not just that amazing day when the tomb was discovered empty. We celebrate Easter for 50 days, days that grow longer and more brilliant as blossoming continues and we head toward the summer solstice. What might it mean to practice this resurrection in our everyday lives?
The Gospel readings during the Easter season are about the resurrection appearances of Jesus and many of them have to do with the life of the body: Thomas doubting and needing to touch Jesus' wounds, pulling the nets ashore overflowing with fish, the disciples on the road to Emmaus recognizing Jesus in the breaking of the bread, and Jesus breathing on them the gift of the Spirit at Pentecost.
What does it mean for us to not just say we believe in a resurrected life, but to truly practice resurrection? Do we experience in an embodied way that movement from death into life again? Do we breathe in the gift of the Spirit? What is the place of your resurrection right now?
This Easter season I have decided again to take on practices connected to the body — my own body and the body of the earth. Some of the deepened commitments I am making: to nourish my body more deeply through cooking whole, organic,and free-range foods, to nourish my soul by sitting down to eat those foods slowly and sharing meals with others whenever I can as an act of communion, to care for the earth by continuing to drive significantly less and eating primarily locally grown foods that do not need to be transported long distances, to go to the woods for regular hikes to be present to the earth-body, to keep Sabbath which is an experience of the resurrected life here and now and the remainder of the week resting as much as my body needs.
These are all practices that are woven into my life already, but during Easter they will take on special significance for me and I hope to go to greater depth with each of them, experience them as true gifts of resurrection, and notice where they invite me into even greater life.
What will your practices of resurrected life be?
-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbey of the Arts
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