I haven’t blogged in a few weeks. I’ve had to conserve energy. Holy Week was bearing down on me. And as I had managed to find new menacing allergens to turn me into a fount of snotty yuck, I realized that I needed to take care of me….sort of a preemptive, preventative measure. I took my great-grandma’s saying, “good for what ails you,” and liberally, even literally applied it. And that’s my story. Summed up in six-words—-my story reads, “Work and Snot, Rest a Lot.” Yep, that’s my story, but God’s story is far bigger than mine, and yours, and even the universe’s story.
I have to tell you that no matter what you preach or share during Holy Week, at the end of the day, unless six words are true, then not one word said by you or me has any value. It matters not one bit what your text selection happens to be, or which pericope suits your fancy, unless six words are true, you have wasted your breath. These six words are all we Christians actually have to say to this world and to one another. These six words are this Sunday’s headline: “JESUS IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD.”
Without these six words there is no story to tell, and certainly no story worth the telling. That’s what you are called to proclaim. It’s not fancy. It’s quaint and old, even to some, quite threadbare, but still it is the only story worth telling come Easter Sunday. Social justice is an outflow of that story, the result of that six word story’s telling and hearing. Fancy heartfelt anecdotes are born from that story and may move us to tears, but delirious emotion is rooted in that deep story where death has no last word, and where all our earthly joys are simple reflections of the greater joy found in these words, “JESUS IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD.”
Stick close to the text no matter which gospel pericope you choose, but know that the core of each text is the same—and apart from the core we’ve nothing left to say—-tell it plain, tell it true, our story is simply this—“JESUS IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD.”