Monday, April 28, 2008

Stood Standing

This is late - apologies, sometimes life gets in the way!

Yesterday my little congregation had 'Vision Day Part Deux' or something to that general effect. It was hard work, but I think it was, overall, quite useful.

In the next couple of days I have to concoct a sermon for Ascension day, and if I'm honest, energy and inspiration are in short supply.

Somehow I can hold these two thoughts together by thinking about resurrection - or anastasis, which can apparently mean 'standing up' or 'getting up' (I think Jesus "anastasis-ed ek necron" in at least one gospel, but I'm too lazy to check right now).

At the beginning of Acts the disciples (and others?) are 'stood standing' (to use a Midlands expression) as Jesus disappears from view. They are, it seems transfixed, mesmerised, paralysed even, stood standing, staring into the sky like some kind of automatons. It takes the mysterious messenger from God to wake them up and move things along.

I think that, maybe, we can be a bit like this in churches - Easter and all it means for us can become where we stop, when things move on we are left 'stood standing' rooted to the spot, anastasis becomes static standing. Too readily we are staring heavenwards waiting for Jesus to return, rather than getting on with what we are commissioned to do here and now.

Nearing the end of 'Eastertide' it is good, for me anyway, to be reminded that resurrection isn't 'just' about Easter and the defeat of death and sin, or even about what will maybe happen at the end of time, rather it is about standing up, rising up and heeding God's call in the here and now. To be stood, standing maybe isn't merely being stuck staring into the blue yonder, but rather to have risen from sleep/death and to be ready for action?

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