On the Corner


by Robert Docter – 

It happened in the dark on a Sunday morning. The eastern sky presented only the promise of a new day as one or two women hurried to “care for” the body of the man Jesus. They had been his friends and followers and had witnessed his death by crucifixion on the Friday before. His remains had been placed in a borrowed, sealed tomb. Romans had guarded the tomb around the clock to prevent the spread of fictitious reports that the man, once dead, now lived.

When the women arrived at the cemetery, they found an empty tomb. In despair, one rushed back to the place from which they had come—to the men, hiding in fear in their upper room. Breathless, she reported their finding—that the body of their master had been stolen.

Two of the men rushed back to the tomb with her to check the report. It was true. The tomb was empty.

The major faith-demand of Christendom lies in one’s belief concerning that empty tomb. If you can’t believe in the truth of reports by those who sighted and conversed with him, then Christianity, the coming of Messiah—God as human—is simply a myth. You have limited your world.

Those who live in a world limited to physical evidence accept the fact of the empty tomb. They explain it, however, in sentences that do not include the word “resurrection.” They believe that over eager followers concocted the miracles—that mythmakers with their own mistaken motives have written only fiction. They suggest that Christ’s resurrection never happened—that it would be physically impossible—that Christianity is actually only an interesting philosophy of life. They believe only what they can see.

But there is another world available to us. It is a world of faith. It is not an easy place to live today, for it is a world without physical evidence—a world of the spirit. We find surrender to this world difficult in our need to have guarantees. We confuse self-esteem with self-power in our quest for control. We believe that we can solve our own problems; we can deal with our own difficulties. We can’t understand how simple acceptance of the resurrection actualizes our faith and brings us into a new relationship with God. We say—what do I have to do to earn it? What sacrifice shall I make? And when we discover there is no sacrifice—there is nothing to earn, we shrug off the notion as being too simple. You see, all we have to do is accept the gift of grace offered through a prior sacrifice by one who rose from his death chamber to provide us life. It’s so easy, it’s hard.

We choose the world we wish to live in. The reality of the resurrection is a very personal belief—but once accepted—once held and nourished, it creates a cascade of human potential that unleashes countless opportunities for resurgence—for new life. For another world exists unlimited by the need for hard data—for physical evidence—for validation through our own sensory receptors.

If you choose to live in that world you invite the power of the resurrected Christ into your life. You, then, experience resurgence—your own personal resurrection. Your life becomes different—new. Your view of yourself becomes more positive. You are able to see the challenges and difficulties of life more completely—with greater integrity. Peace pervades your personality and provides rest and relaxation in moments of stress, confusion and loss.

You establish and internalize your own rules of conduct based on an increased value for fellow humans anywhere. You begin to perceive the desperation of the downtrodden, those whom society has pushed to its margins. You elevate your compassion and seek to minister to them, to love them. With others who share your spiritual belief, you make permeable the boundaries that unjustly deny them access to community. You work to make this absence of justice public. You demonstrate the dimensions of your love for God’s creation by loving those most difficult to love.

Because we are human, we tend to slip away from a belief of personal resurrection. We fail to use our doubts as motivation for growth. Instead, we allow them to flower within us. Our faith falls into disuse. Our self-centeredness drives us toward despair. A caring community helps us guard against this slippage.

Each of us has full awareness of those parts of our lives needing resurgence—to rise again. On a resurrection morning, let us step free from the wrappings of death into the golden light of a new day.

The risen Lord is in our midst!

The risen Lord is in our midst!

by Linda Bond, Commissioner –  “Dark and cheerless is the morn

FOCUS – The glow of Christ…has many hues

FOCUS – The glow of Christ…has many hues

The thirty-year-old man kept his head bowed low as he read aloud the essay he

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