The Light of Resurrection

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M_Michele

Waiting for spring, hanging off the northeast end of the U.S. mainland, it’s a challenge to get into an Easter frame of mind. The dark is still holding sway over the light, and resurrection-thinking requires a muscular faith. Although the calendar tells me that spring will come, this hope in a future date seems like a flimsy thing.

Pressing into a Truth that challenges me to fathom the unfathomable, I leave my heart ajar to the record of resurrection in John’s Gospel. After all, Mary Magdalene had nothing but Sunday morning silhouettes to go on when she visited the tomb.

But this one thing she knew: stones don’t move themselves.

The absence of death, the presence of angels, and the sound of her own name carried by the voice of Jesus opened Mary’s eyes to life, and, reading it again today, my heart is blown wide open to the reality that there is a God at work Who is beyond my understanding.

The power that raised Christ from the dead spreads a layer of clear abundance across the sky, and it rebukes all my tattered scripts of scarcity and inadequacy. Under the light of resurrection, the myth of “not enough” that presents itself as gospel is revealed for what it is–blasphemy, after all.

When I stand before a class or sit around a table with my weekly women and feel like handing off my notes to someone else and saying:
“Here, you do this. It’s too much. I’m not enough,”
I slam my heart shut like a tomb full of death.
When I reject wisdom that whispers:
“Wait; lean into relationship with Me and stop your ceaseless striving.”

When, instead, I soldier on by the seat of my pants–I choose darkness over light; death instead of resurrection.

My faithless frame of mind locks me into a small room … and then sucks out all the oxygen.

This was not unlike the post-resurrection dwelling place that the disciple Thomas had created for himself. He’d been given a whole week in which to savor the bitter brew of hopelessness and disappointment, to hear about Jesus’ appearances to others—always when Thomas was conveniently absent. He had cobbled together his own response, apparently deciding that He was not going to be taken in by all the hype. He would not be deceived by any false messiahs who go and get themselves killed in the most humiliating manner possible.

Locked door and double-bolted heart notwithstanding, Jesus showed up with a fresh supply of oxygen and irrefutable evidence—the marks of crucifixion and his own unique wound, a spear-thrust through the ribs.

Thomas’s skepticism melted into adoration and an astounding confession of faith: “My Lord and my God!” Mary’s eyes had been opened by the sound of her Savior’s voice.

For Thomas, it was the sight of His wounds that spoke resurrection.

Millions of us now, following in hundreds of generations behind Mary and Thomas, have never been invited to put our hands on the risen Christ or been treated to the sound of His voice speaking our name aloud, and yet the reality of resurrection and the power of Life over death is so much a part of our creed that we hold it as a mark of orthodoxy. God does not require an empty “faith in faith,” but offers reality, transparent vindication in the form of eye-witness accounts upon which I base my own belief.

“Jesus of the Scars” is Edward Shillito’s poetic invitation for me to join Thomas in bearing witness:
“The other gods were strong, but thou wast weak;
They rode, but thou didst stumble to a throne;
But to our wounds, only God’s wounds speak,
And not a god has wounds but Thou alone.”

When, through Thomas’s eyes, I see a wounded God, I am brave to come, wounded, to Him, for if it were not for those visible wounds all would be winter. The stone would still seal in the stench of death;
the door to the upper room would stay forever locked;
there would be no framing of the heart to resurrection truth.

Like Mary, though, I am seen and known.
I hear the sound of His voice through His Word:
a whispered hope,
a release from shame,
a path away from the downward draw of brokenness,
a promise of eternal spring.

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Michele Morin
I am wife to a patient husband, Mum to four young men and a daughter-in-love, and, now, Gram to one adorable grandboy. My days are spent homeschooling, reading piles of books, and, in the summer, tending our beautiful (but messy) garden and canning the vegetables. I love to teach the Bible, and am privileged to gather weekly around a table with the women of my church and to blog at Living Our Days about the grace I am receiving and the lessons from God’s Word that I am trusting.
Michele Morin

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Michele Morin
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  • This is an especially beautiful, poetic post Michele. What a story-teller you are!! Thank you for drawing me richly into the Resurrection today!

    • Don’t you wish that the reality of resurrection could be as much a part of our thinking all the time as it is during Holy Week?
      I do appreciate your kind words and your presence here.

  • Saskia Wishart

    Oh my goodness, just beautiful writing here Michele. “When, through Thomas’s eyes, I see a wounded God, I am brave to come, wounded, to Him, for if it were not for those visible wounds all would be winter. ” This line, just stunning and truth filled. Thank you for this.

    • Saskia, God has given you the heart of an encourager, and I am thankful for the light of it shining here today.

  • Michele, I was so blessed to read this post as I also wrote about Mary Magdalene this morning. I have been so struck by her this year in a fresh way. This post added to all I have been pondering. I am so grateful I am seen & known by our Lord. Thank you for sharing this post!

    • Thank you for reading, Joanne. I appreciated the way you emphasized relationship in your post. Thanks be to God that our present-day relating to Jesus is not hindered by space and time — and certainly not by death!

  • Lynn Simpson

    ‘only God’s wounds speak’ How beautiful. I hadn’t thought of God’s wound that way before. His scars are our hope, and He is hope for our scars. Beautiful!

    • I bumped into Edward Shillito’s poem in a book I was reading last month and recognized it as something that I had copied into my journal years (and YEARS) ago. It held so much meaning for me then, that I’ve been pondering it again all through this season. I’m so thankful to know that it has resonated for you, too!

  • HeleneBurns

    Oh wow Michele… your words are so stunning and gloriously rich to my heart and soul. Such brilliant writing! I identify so much with Mary as you express her hopeful heart here;
    Like Mary, though, I am seen and known.
    I hear the sound of His voice through His Word:
    a whispered hope,
    a release from shame,
    a path away from the downward draw of brokenness,
    a promise of eternal spring.
    Beautiful – thank you xo

    • I love Mary’s following heart, her devoted discipleship.
      And I love that she got to be the one to share the good news!
      In this gray pseudo-spring, I want to walk in hope as she did.

  • Jerri Miller

    Man, Michele, have you been in my head this weekend? “When I stand before a class or sit around a table with my weekly women and feel like handing off my notes to someone else and saying:

    “Here, you do this. It’s too much. I’m not enough,”

    I didn’t do it though. Instead, I “soldier on by the seat of my pants–I choose darkness over light; death instead of resurrection.”

    Thank God for hearing whispered hope through His Word. Otherwise … I don’t know how I’d make it. ~ Jerralea

    • Oh, me too, Jerralea! Thanks be to God that He still shows up and offers grace — and a fresh supply of oxygen for our double-bolted hearts! And, yes, His Words of hope keep us in the race.

  • Powerful weaving of words of faith, Michele … those days after resurrection’s dawn surely give cause for pause and consideration …

    • You’re so right — yesterday we were the Easter girls who said, “Jesus is risen – He is risen indeed.”
      Now it’s time for us to live our lives as if we believe in a God who defeated death. It’s time to offer the healing His wounds bring to the wounded in our world.

  • bethwillismiller

    Amen, Michele! what a powerful post, focusing on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, truly it is by His wounds that we are already healed…many blessings to you!

    • “To our wounds only God’s wounds speak.”
      Another line from the poem says: “Lord Jesus, by Thy scars we claim Thy grace.”
      What a gift to receive soul healing from our wounded God.

  • Pam Ecrement

    Well said, my friend, well said! I identify with temptations to say “I am not enough” and then I hear His gentle reminder that it exactly why He came and His Spirit dwells within me. I was never (and still not) to be enough save Him alone!!

    • And I literally do this every week. I turn on the lights in my classroom, I put my Bible and my notes on the table, and then my mind swerves off into the tattered thinking of not enough. However, I’m seeing God’s faithfulness, and slowly the anxious thoughts are becoming prayers of dependence: “Oh, Lord, you have to do this because I can’t. I can’t think straight. I’m not prepared enough. Please give these women what they need.”
      And He does.
      It’s good to know that you are listening for “His gentle reminder” as well.

  • Anita

    Amen. Jesus suffered in all ways so that when he promises to come alongside us, we know that he knows our pain and sorrow. We can take our invisible wounds to him and he will give us resurrection.

    • And what a gift it is to be seen and known — and then accepted.

  • Beautiful words, Michele! Praise God that He arose, and because of that, we are free! God bless you.

    • And you also, Cheryl. Thank you for bringing your thoughts today about freedom in Christ.

  • Nicole A. Joshua

    This is gold Michele: “The power that raised Christ from the dead spreads a layer of clear abundance across the sky, and it rebukes all my tattered scripts of scarcity and inadequacy. Under the light of resurrection, the myth of “not enough” that presents itself as gospel is revealed for what it is–blasphemy, after all.” Thank you for the reminder of abundance in the midst of all the pain and suffering in our worlds today.

    • This has certainly been a winter of hard days and bad news, and resurrection thinking has been hard to connect with. When I hold myself before the truth of Scripture and find that it is true — no matter how I feel about it — I’m moving in the right direction.

  • So beautiful, Michele. I love how you made it personal … brought it right to your hesitation and doubt.

    THIS: “When I stand before a class or sit around a table with my weekly women and feel like handing off my notes to someone else and saying:’Here, you do this. It’s too much. I’m not enough …'”

    • It’s wonderful to have a space and a community in which it’s o.k. to admit to a thought like that. We miss so much when we’re all polish and shine — busy hiding the dings and scratches.

  • Bev Murrill

    So many beautiful lines here, Michele. You have such a way.

    Stones don’t move themselves.
    I slam my heart shut like a tomb full of death.
    My faithless frame of mind locks me into a small room

    I love your writing… you have such depth and it impacts my heart so much.

  • Kristi Woods

    Beautiful, Michele, simply beautiful. Your writing never ceases to capture me. You’ve been given a beautiful gift. This phrase was one (because there were several) of my favorite: “resurrection-thinking requires a muscular faith”. Amen & amen. We’re thinking along the same lines with our posts today. That Mary…. Even more so, that Jesus. #intentionalTuesday

    • Overwhelming encouragement, Kristi, and I find myself being helped in exercising that “muscular faith” (or at least attempting to) by your words as well. I’m so thankful for Easter’s nudge to be more intentional in our focus on Christ and His resurrection power.

  • Michele, I really enjoyed how you wove your doubts in with the hope of Easter. Very powerful. I especially liked this part of the quote, “But to our wounds, only God’s wounds speak.” What a Savior!

    • Yes, I love that poem. It’s been with me for a long time, but somehow it’s new every year. Trusting for grace to have fewer doubts and more resurrection hope . . .

  • Thank God for His faithfulness. His work of Grace we see perceive and partake of.
    Thanks a million friend.
    Hearty Blessings to you

    • And to you also, Ifeoma. We do see the faithfulness of God in huge print when we review the accounts of the resurrection!

  • Just beautiful, Michele. Your words are captivating. “When I reject wisdom that whispers:
    “Wait; lean into relationship with Me and stop your ceaseless striving.”” Its a God of grace that calls us to Himself when we are preparing to chart our own course. So grateful that He is risen, that He is here, that He is ever and always on our side. Blessed to be your neighbor pretty much everywhere today! 🙂

    • It’s so easy to swap productivity for relationship and to lose out on the blessing of His direction – preferring to “charting our own course” as you said. May His faithfulness hold us in a kind of blessed dependence by which we become more fully ourselves the more like Him we become. Thanks, Tiffany, for taking time to read and to comment!

  • This is beautiful, Michele. I am thankful Jesus remained faithful to His mission. I’m thankful the death and resurrection is enough.

  • Deborah Will

    Michelle I loved reading this this morning as the sun was rising. Yes, yes there is a God at work who is beyond my understanding also. He is always there in the little things like a sunrise to remind us He’s there every single moment.

    • There’s something about those moments around sunrise — one of my “thin places” where God seems near. How wonderful that Mary saw Jesus in the early morning hours, and that we, too, can meet with Him at sunrise. Deborah, thank you for bringing my words into your morning.

  • “Under the light of resurrection, the myth of “not enough” that presents itself as gospel is revealed for what it is.”—This is beautiful. My struggle with “not enough” carries over from a childhood where things were very tight…there often didn’t seem like enough….I know it is not about how much resources….the scarcity mentality is being minimized as i learn all over again to trust. thanks for these words.

    • It’s hard to put that kind of thing behind us and move forward into abundance.
      I know.
      And we translate the myth of scarcity to our own personhood. The only thing that I know of that will banish lifelong lies is lots and lots of Truth.
      So good to hear from you Carol. Thanks for reading and for taking time to comment.

  • “stones don’t move themselves.” I’ll be thinking on this for awhile. I enjoyed the lyricism you peppered throughout your piece. Thank you, Michele.

    • Glad to stir your thoughts on resurrection truth, Rachel. That huge stone certainly puts the power of God on display.

  • pastordt

    Really beautiful, Michele – thanks so much.