Thoughts Between Sundays

Some of what crosses my mind between Sundays

Thoughts for Sunday: Practice Resurrection


The Text for Sunday is Acts 9:36-43:  Peter raises Dorcas (Tabitha) from the dead.

I am wondering about where we see resurrection in our own lives.  Where do we see miracles, where do we see the work of God in a post-Easter season differently than we do before Easter?  How is our world different when we proclaim the death and resurrection of Christ?  How do we practice resurrection?

I’m seriously asking you  -comment here or on Facebook — what do you see in this text?  What miracles do we overlook?

And in the category of things that may not make it to the pulpit, I share this poem with you — one of my favorites:

The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

by Wendell Berry

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.

So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.

Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion – put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front” from The Country of Marriage, copyright © 1973 by Wendell Berry, reprinted by permission of Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc.


2 thoughts on “Thoughts for Sunday: Practice Resurrection

  1. I may sound like an awful jackass and a poor example of a minister, but I’m not sure that I live the Resurrection or can see it in this fallen world. There’s always the Spring time metaphor…you know the flowers and all that, but I don’t think that’s what it’s about. My ancient Celtic forefathers, all painted in blue, could get that one without any problem and still disembowel the chief after a bad year of fishing. I think if I could really live in agape, them maybe that would be living the Resurrection, but I can’t. I’m too centered on me. If I could suffer like Him…maybe then I could share some part of the Resurrection, but I’m far too much a coward and a liar. I preached Dismas again this year and I’m feeling more and more like him. Little Julia and Rebecca, the latest, perhaps they are the Resurrection or, better, perhaps they will realize the Resurrection…perhaps. they, unlike their grandfather, will preach agape in truth. At this age of mine, I have seen too much that clouds my vision…it should be the other way, but it isn’t. That should grieve me, but it doesn’t, because I can’t do anything about it. I hope that He loves me and will forgive me and remember when I stand before Him.

  2. Tom, I know he loves and forgives you…

    I found this quote in Feasiting on the Word for this week (which is at church, so I can’t give you the author): “The God who created the world and Jesus from the dead is still active in the world, bringing healing to the diseased, hope to those in despair, and life where death seems to reign.”

    Do you see any of that? Do you experience any of that? I know I found some of it at your kitchen table.

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