(Random thoughts for Easter Sunday's Contemplative Service)
When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead he called out in a loud voice 'Lazarus, come forth' - John 11:43 Jesus raises his voice and calls out in a shout that reaches all the way beyond the grave. A shout that leaves no question about who holds the keys of death and hell.
When Jesus raised Jairus' daughter from the dead, he simply took her hand and said 'Little girl get up' - Mark 5:41 Jesus tells the mourners and musicians who were weeping and wailing to go away, and in a scene of quiet intimacy he whispers life back into the girl.
Resurrections happen in our lives in shouts and whispers.
There are parts of my life that need to loudly raise my voice and proclaim the ancient Easter greeting 'Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.' I need to shout resurrection at a volume louder than my fears. I need to shout out in a voice that reaches into the dead places in my life and declares their resurrection through the power of God. I need a shout that resounds in my ears when faith fades away, a shout that keeps echoing through the gaping canyons of my soul.
Other parts of me need to whisper the resurrection. A loud shout sends me scurrying away in fear like wild deer. I need to whisper as a gentle invitation that I will not be met with condemnation. I need to whisper so I know I will be greeted with understanding. I need to whisper because at times that is all I I can do, and therefore if resurrection can only be shouted I am excluded. I need to whisper because parts of me are so fragile that a shout would destroy them and I would crumble like the walls of Jericho. I need to whisper because God is a God who speaks in whispers as well as shouts.
An honest whispered 'Help me' can contain more resurrection than a fake shouted 'Hallelujah!'There is loud exuberant praise in Heaven, and there is also intimate silence.
When you reflect on your life right now, do you need to whisper or shout?