Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Resurrection Witnessed

I witnessed a resurrection recently.  Someone came back from the dead.  He was risen, and I was some glad.   Shocked is the better word.   Walking into a Mystic CT bookstore, I approached the religion section and before me was a new book written by Marcus Borg: “Days of Awe and Wonder: How to be a Christian in the 21st Century.”

Marcus died in 2015.   Quite a wonder to come back from the dead!   Actually, his wife, Marianne Borg assembled this collection of his writings from his many books, presentations, and unpublished works.   For more information on Marcus try the site: “MarcusJBorgFoundation.org.”   Some of his lectures can be viewed such as “What is God?”

Some will not like his perspective.  Nevertheless, he tells us to take Jesus seriously.  Most of us think we already do, but probably not for many of us.

Marcus says such things as: “God cares about human suffering, and the single greatest source of unnecessary human suffering, of unnecessary social misery, is systemic injustice.   By systemic injustice I mean sources of suffering caused by cultural systems, by the structures of society.  I think in many ways, this is a difficult notion for us, made more difficult to grasp by the ethos of American individualism.”

He continues, “…taking Jesus seriously means a life increasingly centered in the Spirit of God, a life lived by the alternative wisdom of Jesus, and a life marked by compassion and justice.” 

He encourages us to “live God’s compassion.”  He writes, “…a lot of Americans think of justice primarily as punitive or criminal justice.  The central justice issue in the Bible is economic justice.”

Marcus Borg is thought-provoking.  He makes us think.  According to Barbara Brown Taylor in her eulogy presented at his memorial service, “He debated his critics with such respect that they invited him out for drinks after.”  And about death and “do not be afraid?”  She said, “Because Jesus said it, we take it on faith – until the time comes for each of us to discover first-hand if it’s true.   Or until, like Marcus, we make it true – by the way we live and by the way we die – and all for the love of God.”

We can assume he discovered it is all true.

Deacon David Pierce

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