A friend used to be the vicar of the Church of the Resurrection in Ely, Cardiff. When he answered the phone Bob would simply say, “The Resurrection”!
He would then take delight in the momentary pause from the person at the other end of the line as they wondered whether they’d got through to the right number or not. Of course people who knew what he did used to join in the fun and reply, “What again?” or “O Lord that does that mean the nearly-new is postponed” or whatever their phone-call was about.
I’m glad they joined in the fun. I think we can be far too serious about Easter. I’m not talking about singing more joyful songs or putting on happy faces for the day but rather enjoying God’s sense of humour. For that is what Easter is about.
There is God, we think, working his way through evolution or whatever interpretation of the cosmic glory you choose to explain things. And then suddenly he turns it all upside down and death becomes a gateway to no sort of death at all. It’s his not so little laugh. He’s saying: you thought you were working it all out with exploration and theories and laboratories and biblical interpretation so what do make of this? And he lobs a great big whopping spanner into the works – The Resurrection – and declares: care to join my fun?
The Apostle Paul is right when he tells the Christians in Corinth that there is no Gospel without the Resurrection. Without it the Church is just a humanitarian enterprise trying to follow one of the numerous spiritual teachers that have populated the world’s history. With the Resurrection the Church becomes a community of faith that makes space for God to be God and responds to what happens.
I do not believe in Re-incarnation. I do not believe in Immortality. I believe in the Resurrection of the Body. A human being does not have an identity without a body. I know it is far more difficult to take on than the first two. I’m working on it seeking some guidance from the Holy Spirit and enjoying the set of the alternative comedian, God.
It’s the way he tells ‘em.