Monday, June 7, 2010

Final Vespers Sermon - The World Is Not Fine.

by Kurt Nelson

My final reflection on term-long discussion of "The Meaning of the Resurrection."

I've long pondered  the meaning of the resurrection this term,
as I took in our broad ranging reflections so far.
We've heard about Love and joy, and sainthood.
Literary theory and theology of all kinds.
I decided that my closing sermon would have a fairly simple thesis:
The world is not fine,
but neither is it hopeless.
The world is full of sin.
That is, it's full of war and inequality and injustice and disaster.
And our actions,
yours and mine,
contribute to its troubles.
We can thus not appreciate the meaning of the resurrection,
until we appreciate the meaning of the crucifixion-
appreciate what it teaches us about ourselves and the world.
These two events are inextricably bound
and they teach us together,

 Now, I'm wired such that conversations
with people who speak a different language if faith than I,
are uniquely helpful and clarifying.
My faith, and experience of faith,
are perhaps uniquely formed by my consistent conversations with non-religious folk.
Maybe it's because of my own lengthy sense of estrangement from religion.
Or maybe due to some deep-seated evangelical desire.
But mostly it's because of their consistently simple and biting questions and comments
about the life of faith, which come from my conversations with non-believers.
And as I ponder the meaning of the resurrection,
in my own life,
I am left to think as much,
about my conversations with non-believers,
than of sermons, and Easters, and bible-studies growing up.