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1013 8th Avenue
Seattle, WA, 98104
United States


The mission of Seattle Presbytery is to participate, in word and deed, in God’s transforming work through the Gospel of Jesus Christ: †by strengthening the witness and mission of our congregations and members and by building strong partnerships with each other and the larger Christian community.

Events (Archive)

On Resurrection and Metaphors

Seattle Presbytery

By Rev. Kevin Nollette, Associate EP

One Easter Sunday I listened as the pastor folded himself into theological origami.  He was giving a children’s message.  First came the comparison of the resurrection to butterflies and caterpillars.  After a six year old held forth at length on the life cycle of butterflies, the child then asked whether Jesus’ wings were colorful like a butterfly, or was Jesus more like a moth! Regrouping the pastor tried for an emerging plant metaphor.   Another boy wanted to know, “what will grow if I am planted?”  Finally a little girl utterly caught up with her literal understanding puzzled aloud as he associated Easter to the warming of the earth as spring brought us towards summer from winter.  “Why,” she asked, “would winter ever come again?”
Pausing, as all adults must when so caught up in children’s logic, the pastor mumbled some nonsense and closing with prayer he sent the children back to the pews with their parents.
The wonder of the resurrection strikes us with awe, inspires us to share Christ with neighbors, comforts us in loss and sorrow, and gives us boldness in the Holy Spirit no matter what circumstances confront us.
Still, we all find ourselves in traps when we try to explain it with metaphors.  By the time we are adults we know what dead is and we know that the dead stay dead.  Even most children know this by the time they are in third or fourth grade.  So how do we explain the resurrection?
When I was in seminary I read a number of explanations, even heard some rather eloquent denials of the resurrection.  None of them explained the resurrection any better than the worst Easter children’s message. 
The simple Easter proclamation is clear enough of a mystery for me.  Christ is risen, He is risen indeed, Alleluia! The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in us by the Holy Spirit.  We have hope not only beyond the grave but also in our daily life for Christ Jesus is with us always.
May you know the presence of our risen Lord, today, and overwhelmed with joy may you share him with others.  We all need to hear the story, know the story, feel the story, and tell the story.
Christ is risen, He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Now, that is good news.  Not for explaining, but for knowing and sharing.
Easter blessings, Kevin