I often listen to podcasts when I walk in the morning. It’s a great way for me to get my mind ‘moving’ a bit. Yesterday, I listened to an interview with Elizabeth Eaton, who is the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. I have a lot of admiration for Bishop Eaton. She is a wise leader and a great gift to the church. If you’d like to listen to the podcast, you can find it here.
In the interview, she was able to take questions from the crowd. But at the end of the podcast, the host asked her if she had any questions for the community that had gathered there.
She asked: “What would it be like if we all really lived like the resurrection was real? How would we be different? How would it affect our actions?”
I’ve been thinking about that question for the last day and a half now. It’s a great question.
Of course, we’d like to think that we do live our lives that way. And there are times that I think we really do. But often, our tendency is to look at our lives more through a lens of our law, rather than a lens of grace. Law, as in “we get what we deserve…” “We earn what we get…” “we are evaluated based on shallow criteria…” and so on.
So what might it look like if we actually lived like the resurrection was real?
- I think we’d be able to forgive ourselves
- I think we’d be able to forgive others
- Grudges wouldn’t exist
- We wouldn’t look in the mirror and be dissatisfied with who we are
- We wouldn’t equate our value based on the size of our paycheck
- We’d live freely and be ourselves, not afraid of what others think or say
In short, I think we’d cut each other, and more importantly ourselves, some slack.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” – Galatians 5:1
It often feels like we are held in slavery to the law…to those criteria by which we can never measure up. And these criteria are reinforced every day, when we watch TV, look online or read the paper. But this is our choice…because the resurrection happened. It is real for each of us. Because of Jesus, we are set free from these things.
The issue isn’t whether or not that is a reality…the question is if we remember it; if we live our lives that way.
Cut yourself some slack. Do the same for others. You are a child of God, loved beyond measure and nothing can change that. And through your baptism, you are bathed in the promises of the resurrection. As people of faith, one of our fundamental truths is that we are Easter people. Every day we experience the gift of grace within our lives.
Live that gift out in your life, every day.