Father Mark

Sunday of the Resurrection…

… commonly known as Easter.

Where were the disciples Easter Morning?

The two Mary’s go to the tomb and are visited by an angel telling them that Jesus was raised, later meeting Jesus himself who tells them to tell the disciples to go to Galilee.

Where were the disciples that Easter Morning?

Gospel accounts reveal that they were self-quarantined in a room for fear of the Jews.

Imagine, living with 11 others in one room over the course of three days.  I wonder if any of them were getting on each other’s nerves?

I’ve never really thought of the Resurrection in the context of nerves.  But when you think about it, sin is like being cooped up in a small room.  Sin narrows our lives and frayed nerves can be a result among other things.

I was just talking to a woman on the phone the other day who admitted to me on a phone call how her sense of worth was knotted by shame due to failed relationships, drinking and other problems.  Shame leaves us feeling small and quarantined on the inside.

Two images come to mind in regards to begin to experience why the Resurrection is so important to us.

The first image is contained with memories I have had through my times visiting ranches in the country.  The rancher has either given me a key or a combination to unlock the gate.  I come to the gate and there are three or four locks attached to a chain that is latched to a gate and encircling a fence post.  It takes me time to try to figure out which lock the key or combination fits.  When it’s dark, it’s even more difficult to see to find the right lock that bars me from opening the gate into the fields that await.  I fumble around some, finally find the right lock, manage to get it open after a few tugs, but then have to free the twisted chain from the slot in which one link  lies in order to hold the gate.  If it’s an old chain, rust makes it more difficult to move the chain from the slot as it tends to stick.

But finally the chain is loosened and is unwound from the gate post and the gate swings open.  The vastness and the beauty of the open field first humbles me with joy following right behind.

The second image that comes to me began when I was young and has continued to this day.

I remember when I was in kindergarten, late for school and I could not get the knot out of my shoe to tie it.  I became frustrated, feeling stuck and ashamed that I couldn’t get that knot out of my shoe.

My mother came to help me and was able to work the knot out.

Through my life, other things would become knotted, like the wires on my ear phones of my transistor radio, knots in ropes I couldn’t untie, the chains I wear around my neck.  My father would show me and encourage me, showing me patience that I did not have.

My impatience added to the problem.  So it wasn’t like I had a couple of knots to untie.  The impatience added a few more emotional knots that inhibited me from addressing the original knots.

Time passes and in my growing understanding of what sin is, I realized that sin wasn’t so much a behavior as an internal condition—a condition of being knotted up on the inside—both in my mind and my heart which ended up in a pile of knotted up emotions.

Impatience was one of those knotted up emotions, as was anger—most of which was addressed at myself, the other part of the anger addressed at others in the form of blame.  Blame is another knot that is tied in with the other knots of shame, impatience and anxiety—all knotted up together.

The knots blocked my ability to think and feel clearly.  The knots blocked me from feeling the Presence of God.  Belief in God is one thing.  Feeling God’s presence makes us one with the Source of Life.

I have found it helpful to myself and to many others with whom I have counseled, to look for knots:

Knots that create tension to disrupt clear thinking and the knots that end up in your gut and your heart.  These knots impair our lives and restrict our living because they block the love and wisdom of God from moving through our minds, bodies and souls.

If you take a breath and exhale, pay attention for a few moments.  You’ll be able to feel the knots in your mind, heart and gut.  Jesus can release us from this slavery.  All we need do is ask, listen and allow him to have his way within us.  Sometimes this trust may take a while.  Mistrust is another knot Jesus can address.

Untying where we are bound is what the Resurrection does.  The term eternal life points to a quality of life.

Part of the power of Jesus’ Resurrection means since that not even the knots of suffering and death could hold him, that he will enter us and begin the lifelong task of removing our knots that restrict his love from moving through us.

He will release us from the internal knots of our sin and help us open the gate to the wide and open space of his Kingdom Within us.

Yes, the Kingdom of God is within.

The Resurrection brings Jesus back to us on the inside to first work through the knots of impatience, shame, self-rejection and anxiety so that he can address the other knotted up parts of ourselves. The resurrection releases the knots of our separation, the sin that binds us.

The Resurrection will free us from our knots making us One with Jesus –which is what Eternal life is—being One with Jesus.  And this is what Easter is all about.

Alleluia!  Christ is risen.  The Lord is risen indeed.  Alleluia.