"We're the Easter people; let's get on with it." This is last line of N.T. Wright's The Scriptures, the Cross, & the Power of God. And thus brings to end this Holy Week of 2010. Wright's been a faithful and insightful companion in these eight days. And his challenge on this day gives us a swift kick out of the pew and into the world, past the mini-eggs and decorated hard boiled eggs and into the fields where the real bunnies live. John 20.1-10 is the text.
Our author makes a big deal out of this day ushering in the new creation. "But now it is the first day of the week; the day after the sabbath, the eighth day, the start of God's new world. It is early morning, still dark. It is the moment of new creation, the moment towards which John's gospel has been moving ever since his reimagining of creation itself in his Prologue...When we see [Mary] again...the echoes of Genesis are unmistakable: she imagines Jesus to be the gardener. The whole scene declares, through symbol and echo and the onrush of themes from the whole gospel story: new creation has begun, and you're invited to be part of it!"
"And - to make it happen in the world."
There is the challenge. "The message is that new creation has begun, and you are called to belong to it and to make it happen in the world...Take the scriptures in one hand and the power of God in the other, take a deep breath of the air of new creation which blows through the world on Easter day, and find what you can do to make new creation happen. The powers of death and hell will be cross with you for doing so, and you'll face battles on the way. Go back again and again to the fact of Easter; the enemies are a beaten rabble, God's new creation will win the day, and you must be part of it."
After a meaningful warning to begin with ourselves (read Colossians 3.1-11 - "what living as Easter people looks like in practice"), this: "Our Holy Week journey is complete; and yet it is not complete. Easter is a beginning, not an ending!" And so we get up and get out and get on with it.
He Is Risen. He Is Risen Indeed!!