Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Isaiah 25:1-10

Easter – Year B

Isaiah 25:1-10

This is a looser than usual connection to the lectionary.

Cities are extensions of individuals. There are patterns that occur. The boom-town phenomenon is one sort of city. Sometimes they develop more than their original impetus of economic mono-culture and continue, mostly not.

Cities with a long history have come and gone. How many Jerichos have archeologists found? Why does New Orleans stay functional? What will happen with Fargo when Canada rebounds another inch from its glacial compression and the Red River basin returns to a lake?

We might think about cities and migrations in terms of resurrection. After awhile cities fail and immigrants are incorporated into the genetics and other strata of a culture. There is a fading, a dying. But periodically there is a rebirth, a feast is re-established.

Waiting and salvation seem to be on unaligned sine waves. Even were they synchronized there would still be a waiting and a fulfillment. It is obvious that death has not been swallowed up – see to what lengths the church and individuals will go to deny death and set up protections against death. Somehow we keep thinking that G*D really will defeat death once and for all. This rings false from the beginning. Just try to imagine any vitality in a creation without death or G*D without Death – soon implacable stasis, a state worse than death, sets in.

It is this reality of death that leads us, time and again, to a gift of resurrection, not its surety. We all like a next breath too much to look forward to resurrection being a gift and not a given. For all our preaching about Easter qua Easter, Good Friday still is its straight-man. Without Good Friday, Easter's punch-line wouldn't ring true.

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