This week we move back inside as we continue the season of Eastertide. This is the lectionary year of the Gospel of Mark, which throws the lectionary deciders for a loop during Eastertide. This is supposed to be the season of tales of the resurrection leading up to the formation of the Church at Pentecost. But Mark doesn’t have any resurrection stories. Instead, the lectionary fills in with other stuff, primarily from Acts and the Johannine corpus – in this case, the Gospel of John and 1 John.
This material does not specifically concern the resurrection, either, but it does say something about the resurrection life. Jesus’ resurrection was supposed to be the “first fruits,” the first and paradigmatic sign of the new life to come. Most Jews of the time had anticipated the raising of the dead for centuries as God’s final victory over the suffering of God’s people. The Christian claim was that Jesus was, somehow, that victory. This, of course, only led to more anticipation, waiting for that promise of new life to be fulfilled. Welcome to the new life; it’s a lot like the old life. However, the nearness of this new beginning in the person of Jesus inspired the early Christians to endeavor to live into that new life. They didn’t just wait around for something to happen.
Each collection of Jesus followers tried to do that in a different way. We see this in the varied concerns of Paul’s letters to the churches he founded. We see it in Paul’s conflicts with Peter. We see one story in Acts and quite a different story reflected in the John material. In a way, each one is trying to enact its own form of a utopian community. I can’t wait to see how that works out!
Please join us this week, 11am at Church in the Cliff, as we discuss the promise and peril of trying to live in this world as we hope to live in the next.
Grace & Peace,
We will begin offering Sunday School for children, every Sunday starting May 3rd at 10am. We are blessed to have Catalina Murcia as a part of our community. Catalina is the founder and director of Art of Peace Community, a Montessori program here in Oak Cliff. She is heading up our efforts to provide progressive, creative Bible education for our young ones using Godly Play materials. It has been a long time since we have been able to provide this for our children and we couldn’t be more excited! If you would like to volunteer to help teach, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, we are still getting some materials together, so look for a list soon of things you could help provide.