Rumors of Life | Sojourners

Rumors of Life

Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle B
Maarten van den Heuvel

EASTERTIDE IS IN FULL STEAM—heading toward the culmination of Pentecost. This is a season of holy rumor: “He is not dead.” “I know someone who saw him.” “My brother touched him.” “He was right here on this shore.” “He just walked through the wall.”

Those holy rumors fanned the flames of a transformed and transforming faith. It is easy to forget that the rumors of Jesus’ resurrected life went against some pretty powerful evidence: his public shaming and crucifixion, the continuing dominance and oppression of the unholy Roman Empire. At one level, nothing had changed; at another, everything had changed.

We remember, commemorate, and live into the resurrection waiting for the redemption and resurrection of all creation in a world in which it looks like nothing has changed. But there are these holy rumors, insistent whispers, and raised voices that do not care who is listening. There are rumors of life that transcend death. Even without first-hand witnesses in our time and against all the evidence, the church affirms the witness of the women who saw and proclaimed the risen Christ.

We still assemble, a church made up of many nations, waiting for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to rekindle the embers of the holy faith that survives the empire’s best effort to extinguish it. The rumor is that God’s people will survive the present age and its empires, all evidence to the contrary.

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