Thursday, April 20, 2017

Easter Thursday vs. Emotional Narcissism

Do you believe?

This unnerving question haunts the Easter community of Christ. But too often, we hear it as a demand to offer intellectual assent to the implausible or, perhaps even worse, an expectation that we must feel a certain way before we can judge ourselves faithful. Both are paltry versions of belief that don’t get us very far.

What happens as the Easter glow fades and the Great Fifty Days are still before us? When the zeal of the newly converted wears thin? When the honeymoon is over?

Thomas continues to ask questions. Mary Magdalene’s witness falls on incredulous ears. The first apostles wonder what to do next and sometimes gather in fear. Even when directly confronted by the Risen Christ, Peter is bewildered and unsure.

But belief is not overruled by doubt, fear, or confusion.

As for the first apostles, so it is for us:

Believing is about choosing to remain in relationship.
It is about the hard path of learning to trust.
It is about the discipline of showing up.

Who knows how we will feel today or tomorrow?

But for God in Christ, all that is secondary. What matters is that we choose to be an Easter people. Mary Magdalene persists in delivering her message. The apostles continue to gather, in fear or not. Peter answers the call and puts one foot in front of the other.

That is what believing is about.

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