“We look for the resurrection of the dead.”

It’s a phrase at the end of the creed we recite at church every Sunday. Part of the reason I love formal liturgy is because it brings me back again and again to the same things, as life gives me deeper and broader ways to understand them.

This Sunday it was this line that jumped out at me and sat in my head and heart, framing the rest of the service.

“We look for the resurrection of the dead.”

And the thought came: All the dead.

All the death.

My father and grandmothers and all of those who have died and aren’t here any more.

The dreams that have died. The relationships. The hopes. The possibilities.

Death always leaves things undone. Unresolved.

“We look for the resurrection of the dead.”

There was a conversation on a friend’s Facebook wall a while back about breakups. A consensus arose that, while the pain of a divorce or the breakup of a long term relationship may be deeper, the loss of a shorter term relationship is usually more intense. In the first, the relationship has played itself out – you know what’s there and what isn’t. But in the second, the loss is full of possibilities cut off and unexplored.

Things undone. Unsaid. Untried. Questions unanswered. Longings unfulfilled. Moments unshared.

Whole future histories wiped away.

But, “We look for the resurrection of the dead.”

My vision for that has always been visceral – literal. As a child perched on a big, gray tombstone in the church cemetery at the Easter sunrise service, I imagined all those people who were dead (daddies, grandmas, grandpas) one day rising up from those graves to hug and be held by again.

But life has taught me those other deaths now, too.

The death of unexplored possibilities is so hard for me. Sometimes my life feels littered with opportunities not pursued, relationships I know could’ve been more. So many things get in the way – baggage, hurt, stuckness, expectations, all our stuff. Sometimes, it’s as simple as timing and logistics.

And I feel the social deaths – community betrayed, justice abandoned, voices silenced.

Things left undone. Left unresolved.

“We look for the resurrection of the dead.”

All the dead. All the death.

I think of resurrection more broadly now. Not just people restored to life, but relationship restored – or remade. Possibilities reawakened. Hopes renewed.

Nothing finally lost.

Resurrection as resolution of all that has been left undone.

We long for resolution. In melody and story, as in life. And perhaps that longing bears witness to what will be.

Resolution. Wholeness. Shalom. All finally as it was truly meant to be, more beautiful than we can imagine.

But it isn’t all for then – though when I face those things I cannot change, I plant my hope in that future day when all will be fulfilled.

“We look for the resurrection of the dead.”

We look – present tense. Now.

Sometimes resolution is present tense. Available today, tomorrow. Every time I choose connection in the face of separation. Every time I choose to honor rather than forget. Every time I speak up for justice. Every time I choose not to walk away. Every time I choose love in the face of loss.

Love is stronger than death. Is. Even now.

“We look for the resurrection of the dead.”

All the dead. Even today.


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