What if “the way things are” is not “the” way? What if “that’s just the way it is” does not have to be that way? What if there is another way? What if the people who claim to know how things are and must be and have decided that all things considered this is what’s for the best all the way around know less than they think?
Who do we suppose would hear that as good news?
Our pastor shared with us an insight she received from Robert Williamson, Jr.: that the people who are most invested in the current order of things have the most difficulty accepting the news of the resurrection.
Even in the Jesus movement there are centers and margins, and the centers take longest to grasp the news. According to Williamson, the Eleven have to be re-awakened by direct experience. They need to stop interpreting everything through their old theories. It takes them longer to see things differently.
The news of Jesus’s resurrection shakes up the power structure. Because it shakes up the existing story of “how things are.”
And when you put it that way – it’s one of those cracks that’s how the light gets in.
Because some of us have learned to think of “religion” and “the church” as the power structure. The establishment. The rulers and enforcers of a punitive, life-denying, soul-crushing world of “how things are” and “how things have to be.”
[Not without good reason. People being what we are, we have kept reconstructing imperial religion, along with all the other empires of this world. Giving some people plenty of good reasons to keep a safe distance from that branch of the empire.]
But what if the resurrection is the resistance?
What if the world with the risen Christ in it is a better world?
A person could start to take that seriously.
Image: “Ohio Redbud,” Greg Hume, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons