Pulling the Rabbit Out of the Hat–or It’s Time for Resurrection

I have been reflecting lately about resurrection, not just The Resurrection, the Jesus one in first century Palestine, but resurrection, the idea as Richard Rohr says that

“Resurrection is not a miracle to be proven; it is a manifestation of the wholeness that we are all meant to experience, even in this world–not time as ‘chronological moments of endless duration’ but time as ‘momentous and revealing the whole.’ (he is quoting John A.T. Robinson, 1968)

Before I left my pastorate, I had begun to explore, very gingerly, the idea that resurrection is a way of life–understanding, and accepting, the reality God gives us of being whole human beings individually, and in community as a whole breathing organism.of beings breathing together.

Into these musings came a wonderful short essay, “Rabbit Transit,” by Rev. Ben Campbell, my friend and the Pastoral Director of Richmond Hill.  He is writing about one of his favorite topics, the development of a comprehensive rapid transit system for Metro Richmond (that’s Richmond-Chesterfield-Henrico-Hanover-Charles City-Goochland-New Kent-Powhatan–1.2 million people who could be united, but often seem to be separate even in the air we breathe).

Rev. Ben Campbell
Rev. Ben Campbell

I have heard Ben preach about this, have attended public meetings about this, and I am beginning to trust that if we believe in resurrection, we must bring about this much needed way for us to breathe together.

A rapid transit system would allow people in Richmond to get out to jobs in the counties–which is where most of the new jobs are–and it would allow people in the counties to come in to their state jobs and to the ball park and the symphony and the galleries. It might even reduce the strain on puny parking opportunities in downtown Richmond.

I am all for this shift–heck, as I grow older, I might prefer to have someone else drive me places–especially because I really don’t pay much attention to the lines drawn on maps to mark political divisions. Does anyone really know, or care, when one crosses over from one country to the next?

Ben says the people of this region are “tragically proud of their failure to work together.” I know that is what our history says. I hope, I pray, our future is better than that. We can stop treating the James River as some sort of local Mason-Dixon line, and even more we can stop thinking the air is different in Henrico and Chesterfield than in Richmond.

I urge you to read his passionate argument for resurrection, and to sign up to support regional transportation. You can find it here on the Richmond Hill web page: http://www.richmondhillva.org/category/blog/

So what about resurrection as a way of life? It happens all the time, but we only see a little of it, or maybe none at all. As Ben Campbell says, “Resurrection life has a special quality. It is life after death. That is to say, death has no more dominion over it.” empty tomb light

Resurrection like that didn’t just happen 2,000 years ago. It happens whenever we let God’s power work in us to move us out from the old, deadly ways (a region divided by race and class and gender and sexuality and all sorts of other artificial boundaries) that hold us back and let God raise us into new life-giving ways (a region, a people, breathing together and riding together).

I think maybe the deal about Jesus is that he let God raise him from the dead. And God keeps wanting to do it again and again.

But we have to be willing to raised, we have to let God raise us.

That’s our part.

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