Resurrection Within Public Justice

By Willard Metzger

The Christian celebration of Easter draws deeply upon the sense of suffering and death that generates new life through the power of resurrection. The death and resurrection of Jesus is personalized. Individuals celebrate their resurrection and salvation.

Because of the ego-centric nature of the dominant culture, many Christians try to live in a state of perpetual resurrection. There is little concentration on the call to embrace death so that resurrection might be realized. There is the temptation to view death as figurative so as to avoid cost and sacrifice. Unfortunately, this strengthens the individualistic interpretation of the Christian faith.

Yet, it is hyper-individualism from which humanity needs to be transformed. Individualism breeds greed and selfishness. Jesus did not come to strengthen individualism through personal salvation. Rather, it might be that the ill of individualism should be transformed into a corporate consciousness – where personal fulfillment and joy are discovered within corporate care and concern.

There is an interconnectedness between resurrection and death. The two are inseparable. You cannot have a resurrection without death.

Scripture speaks much of the need of death; as Jesus stated: “those who lose their life will find it” (Luke 17:33). And the high cost of becoming a follower of Jesus speaks much of embracing loss (Luke 14:25-33).

As a faith-based public justice charity, CPJ regularly advocates for many marginalized communities who can feel like they are or have experienced death. They wait for the possibility to hope for a resurrection.

So, in public justice terms, the more biblical consistent understanding would be that the powerful and wealthy must allow the defence of their power and privilege to die so that a new just society can experience resurrection.

This is not an easy call. It is not an easy message to bring because it is not an easy message to embody. Identifying the power and privilege personally held is an uncomfortable exercise.

It creates uneasy questions. What are the things in my life that God may invite me to let die? Am I able to trust God in such a disarming process? Yet this is the engagement where the resurrection power will emerge.

Gentle Spirit, lead me into disempowerment so that I can witness the power of the resurrection unfold around me.

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2 thoughts on “Resurrection Within Public Justice”

  1. Thanks Willard. Love the idea that lifts resurrection not just to individuals but the whole creation. Have a blessed Easter.Will be in Drayton next Sunday.


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