The One Coming into the World
Barb Harmon of Claremont, CA, USA
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.” -John 11:25-27 NRSV
Jesus’ words to Martha come in the midst of grieving the death of her brother, Lazarus. Her response is a statement of profound mystery and faith. Jesus, the one standing before her, is “the one coming into the world.”
During a conversation with a friend several years ago, she said, “I see resurrection all around me every day, in nature, in changed lives. But I don’t believe Jesus was physically raised from the dead.”
Her assertion invited me to ask, “What do I believe about resurrection?” It is a question I continue to ponder as mystery in the depths of my being.
I reflect on times the Presence of “the one coming into the world” has been manifest in the midst of darkness, separation, and death: keeping vigil at the bedside of a dying child; in sacred conversation over coffee with a bipolar, schizophrenic teenager who two days later ended his life; sheltering for one holy night a homeless, addicted prostitute.
These occasions witness to me of resurrection. The outcomes weren’t what I would have hoped: suffering, death, an ill young woman back on the streets. Yet a tangible Presence of abiding love and deep connectedness to both the woundedness and veiled wholeness of my companions accompanied these encounters.
Community of Christ Basic Beliefs proclaim: “Christ is risen! Thus we believe that God is God of life, not of death. By faith we share in eternal life even now. In Christ, God’s love finally will overcome all that demeans and degrades the creation, even death itself” (Sharing in Community of Christ, 3rd Edition, p. 16).
I am grateful for the conversation with my friend that challenged me to not simply declare a belief without considering its implications. Instead, in vulnerability to divine mystery, I find I can proclaim, “Christ, ‘the one coming into the world,’ is risen!”
Spirit now live in me.
Breathe deeply and enter a few minutes of silence. Be attentive to where you sense new life emerging in you. Search your memories of the previous day. When did you notice the sacredness of life in surprising places or forms in the world around you?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.