Progressive Christian Reflections by Chris Glaser: The Empty Closet

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Jerusalem passageway, 1981 -crg

Approaching
Easter, I discovered myself in a sort of Holy Saturday malaise—you know, that dreary
interim when Jesus is in the tomb, and all is lost. I study once again the narratives
about the empty tomb, the resurrection stories, a single Gospel every single day. I wanted
to encounter the risen Christ. Lord, I
think, support my unbelief!
Then
it occurred to me that I was seeking for a literal resurrection, like Thomas
demanding to see the prints of the nails in Jesus’ hands and really feel the wound in his side. In
truth, the stories that most appeal to me are the mystical ones, like the Emmaus
disciples experiencing Jesus in the kerygma of “opening scriptures” and the
sacrament of breaking bread.
The
literal miracle I was overlooking was what came out of that empty tomb: a new
faith and spiritual neighborhood that would attract considerably of humanity and transform
the globe a fresh understanding of God and, to take it personally, a fresh
understanding of myself. “God brought us to life with Christ,” in the words of
Ephesians two:five (NJB). I recognized the resurrection of Jesus in numerous other individuals, thanks
to his passion and compassion.
Coming
out of the closet helped me improved grasp resurrection. I know how differently
life and God and the globe are knowledgeable when totally free of confinement,
restriction, and hiddenness. Almost everything is new and observed/felt/heard/smelled/tasted
as if for the initially time. It is excellent and terrifying, uplifting and
burdensome. It calls for an completely diverse way of getting, acting, speaking,
and loving.
It
entails each freedom and duty. Its heights and depths make a single soar
and sink at the exact same time. It aids a single concentrate and broaden all at when. Abruptly,
when initially coming out, I was in the “rapids” of my life excursion, exhilarating
and frightening, each limiting and opening possibilities, tearing me away from
safer shores and hurling me toward the unknown. “Thar be dragons thar,” I
feared.
In
my 1998 book Coming Out as Sacrament,
I utilized “coming out” as a hermeneutic for biblical interpretation. A single reviewer
groused about my introducing however a different hermeneutic, or lens, by way of which to
view scripture, but I think “the extra the merrier,” the higher the
chance for diverse populations to comprehend and apply the spiritual
wisdom of the Bible to their personal lives and the lives of their communities.
I
boldly asserted that the Bible was God’s coming out story.  Just after all, in Christian tradition, self-revelation
is how we know God. From the burning bush to Jesus of Nazareth to the Holy
Spirit, all awareness and information of God comes at divine initiative. I
recommended God came out of the closet of heaven to dwell with us and even dwell
inside us.
The
empty tomb could be viewed as a sort of empty closet. “Do not hold on to me!”
Jesus told the weeping Mary in a different a single of these mystical resurrection stories.
“Do not hold onto me!” every single of us says to peers and colleagues as Jesus calls
us from confining beliefs, practices, prejudices, perspectives, and
expectations.
Jesus
goes just before us into Galilee, or any area or culture or neighborhood or vocation
or workplace or movement in which we reside and move and have our getting, if only
we have eyes to see and hearts to really feel. With his dearly beloved Lazarus, he challenges
us, “Come out!”
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Copyright © 2019 by Chris
R. Glaser. Permission granted for non-profit use with attribution of author and
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