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Minor Resurrections

Minor Resurrections

Wednesday, September 10, 2013 — Week of Proper 18, Year Two

[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office

Psalms 119:49-72 (morning) // 49, [53] (evening)

Job 29:1; 30:1-2, 16-31

Acts 14:19-28

John 11:1-16

Our gospel writers are very insistent that Jesus was clearly and completely dead on the cross. They want to leave no room for doubt in the minds of us readers that Jesus had died, and that his resurrection was a true return from the grave.

But our reading from the Acts of the Apostles this morning is about a less drastic resurrection. After being stoned by his opponents, Paul is not actually dead, but he seems so. His attackers drag him outside the city, “supposing that he was dead,” believing they had disposed of him effectively.

Then, right on the heels of this seeming death, we have a minor resurrection scene. Paul’s friends gather around him, and he is able to rise and return to his mission: “when the disciples surrounded him, he got up and went into the city.” Paul comes back from persecution, back from violence, back from exile.

Whenever someone returns from the border of life and death, from the margins of society, from the verge of hopelessness, we get to witness a minor resurrection. Then again, perhaps simply getting out of bed this morning feels like a minor resurrection!

Whatever degrees of resurrection we witness throughout our lives, today’s reading includes an important component of many resurrections: the encircling presence of others. I found myself in just such a circle yesterday, and I am grateful.

It is a basic task of discipleship not only to experience resurrection in our own lives, but to surround people when they find themselves on an edge, helping them to turn and live again. Such resurrections may be minor, but still they are marvels.

Lora Walsh blogs about taking risks and seeking grace at A Daily Scandal. She serves as curate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and as director of the Ark Fellows, an Episcopal Service Corps program sponsored by St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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