Opening our minds to the mind of scripture
As I said on Easter Sunday and probably quite a few other times as well, Easter lasts for 50 days. All the way to Pentecost. And so for the third Sunday we hear stories about the resurrection, this time from Luke.
We are not always sure how to understand the resurrection. Did it happen? How did it happen? What does it mean? What should I do with it?
We are not alone with our doubts and questions. These stories we have been reading over the last weeks present disciples who are filled with fear and trembling, who run, stay silent, doubt, disbelieve, disbelieve even in their joy and wonder, need proof, are confused, not even recognising Jesus when he is among them.
In today’s Gospel Luke says that Jesus opened the disciples’ minds to the mind of scripture. In Luke, this is the key moment. Sure, the Risen Jesus tries his hardest to meet their confusion, questions, doubts, disbelief. In the end it needs more. It needs their minds to be opened to the mind of scripture. The same is true for us.
This is more than learning proof texts and memory verses. It is more than knowing scripture and how it all holds together. it is more than giving intellectual ascent to the tenants of faith. It is, as John reminds us in his letter and Luke in his account in Acts, about having our imagination shaped by God’s unfailing love. We are made in love, held in love, restored by love. When our minds are opened to this, we begin to understand and to be shaped by that love, and become witnesses to that love. What does that mean really?
Bishop Helen-Ann says in her Easter letter that we “are right to ask questions, and you are right to think critically about what faith means in your lives. At its heart, the Easter story is about ordinary things, ordinary objects and lives, ordinary experiences, utterly transformed and given new meaning and purpose. It is a story that bears all the hallmarks of human experience: love, betrayal, doubt, fear, anger, despair, grief, but also victory, new life, commitment and purpose. And whereas the end of the story as described by Mark’s Gospel ends with a very intriguing ‘so what happened next? (the women at the tomb afraid, we know that they must have said something to someone about what they had seen), ultimately the ‘what happened next’ is all up to each one of us, in how we choose to live our lives. Quite simply, it is up to us to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.”
May your ordinary experiences be transformed by the love of God revealed in the risen Jesus. May we all be part of what happens next.