Last week I wrote
And if resurrection is about life, then it matters how we live.
It matters how we spend our money. It matters how we talk to other people. It matters how we express our sexuality. It matters how we treat creation. It matters how we treat people who are not like us. It matters what words we use. It matters what words we do not use. It matters how we make use of our time. It matters how we agree or disagree with other people.
If resurrection matters, then life matters.
And, if death truly has been conquered by the resurrection of Christ, then it matters a lot. And not just for what we typically think of as “this life,” for Life no longer begins at birth and ends at physical death, but continues on with a renewed and restored physicality and humanity.
Peter (the same Peter who went to Haiti – check out his videos) led our canvas group last night through a meditation on relationships in light of resurrection.
In the Gospel According to John, Peter’s (the disciple, not the friend mentioned in the previous sentence) denial of Christ takes place before the crucifixion. There’s no record of Peter encountering Jesus again before his death – to apologize or to receive forgiveness. Imagine the agony of Peter – denying and betraying the one whom you had spent the last three years with just before the moment of death without a chance for reconciliation. But, resurrection changes everything. There is reconciliation for Peter – it comes after death. After life as we know it has ended.
But, resurrection changes what “life as we know it” looks like.
In the closing chapter of John’s gospel, Peter is reinstated by Jesus. Reconciliation happens.
It happens after death, but death holds little weight in the face of resurrection.
Peter (the first Peter mentioned, not the disciple) asked us to spend time silently reflecting on the times that we’ve betrayed. Our friends, our selves, or our God. The hurt. The shame. The grief.
But that hurt, shame, and betrayal does not have to be the final story.
Resurrection means that life continues and betrayal does not. So we reflected on relationships that embody an eternal perspective: relationships that are viewed through the lens of resurrection.
Given resurrection, how should we treat those we are likely to betray? Those we tend to overlook? Those we would prefer not to spend our time on?
In light of resurrection, relationships matter. A lot.