Volume 6: Issue 5
The Empty Tomb:
What Does the Resurrection Mean?
Story: The Empty Tomb: What Does the Resurrection Mean?:
Resurrection is not about
Jesus opening his eyes in the tomb, removing the Shroud of Turin, stretching
out the kinks of crucifixion, frightening the women, and taking a stroll
with the disciples. Resurrection means that God is with us -- "permanently
present ... in all places and times" in our world.
Are you a crucifixion person
or a resurrection person? Do you believe we are born to suffer and die,
with our ultimate reward coming in some other place, some other time,
or are you a resurrection person, immersed in leaving behind suffering
and building a new life, immersed in being reborn here and now?
Jesus calls himself the
resurrection and the life. Ultimately, in order to bring about the personal
resurrection in my life, he had to put to death the old order of things.
Instead of seeing the old law, which the gospels are a revolt against,
I have now come to see the freedom in life, the rebirth that Jesus talks
about in John 3.
--By: Neil Ellis Orts
The taste I have had makes
me ache for the feast to come. The times say, "Not yet." I strain at
my little box and I know, not yet. But the day is surely coming.
I do not need to "see"
the skies open, or see proof that Christ's body rose after three days
to know that the Spirit of Jesus is very much alive in the hearts of
believers and that God is a reality. And to go a step further, one need
to look no further than the wisdom God has blessed us with through science,
psychology and biology to see that LGBT people are not "abominations"
or those who engage in "unnatural acts," but rather a part of the diversity
that God created.
The resurrection of Jesus
Christ validates three crucial points for the believer. First, it authenticates
the Scriptures. Second, the resurrection validates our redemption through
faith in Christ. Third, the resurrection speaks directly to our own
It wasn't until I read
"Resurrection: Myth or Reality" that I began to realize what Easter
is all about. Spong took me on a thrilling journey through history and
beyond Scripture as I arrived at an understanding of why the resurrection
stories were written, why certain symbols were used, and most importantly,
what this all means to Christians today.
We as GLBT persons understand
what a tomb is, as we have all come from one of closet proportions.
And often we resent it. We want to bust through and out to be a light
and a witness and, well, just be.
I thought my daughter's
tragedy would destroy my life. Instead, it gave me a different life.
The reason that we are dummies
about Jesus is because we have been dummied by religious manipulations
and misinformation. The same abusive sick religion that has made GLBT
people hate themselves and try to destroy themselves and each other
is the source of our confusion and misinformation about Jesus.
In order to save its soul,
it is Spong's belief that Christianity must shed this obsession with
a theistic God. That is, of course, a tall order. Christianity is so
rife with theism that the very thought of separating it from the other
elements of the faith is unbearable for many people.
In truth, I am continually
amazed by the arrogance of heterosexuals on this issue. Let's face it,
we have had marriage all to ourselves for thousands of years and we
have made a mess of it. According to some statistics, half of all marriages
fail and the other half end in divorce before they've had a chance to
Having a church open its
arms to welcome us is a true blessing because they become a beacon of
God's love by accepting us as we are. The entire service was emotionally
charged and many in the congregation were fighting a losing battle to
hold back tears.
How sad that the Family
of God cannot grow in love because its members cannot simply support
and love each other as we should, loving all because we are family members
first and foremost. How easy is it for us, as a GLBT community, for
us to scorn and hate others because of their intolerance and non-acceptance
From The Pulpit:
We are all artworks of God
waiting for the moment to be uncovered. It may not happen when we want
it to. For some it happens early, for some like myself, later, and for
others, including many churches, not at all.
Gay and lesbian people
have a duty to take back the scriptures from destructive closed minds.
In doing so we will find a message of welcome intended for all of God's
children. Like the wise men, our search for Jesus Christ will be blessed
by his loving gaze and comforting touch.
When I first heard about
generational curses I scoffed because the blood of Jesus covered me
so no curse could have a hold of me. However, I didn't take into account
the persistence of the enemy of God's people.
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