irty years ago, I received a book called God is a Verb!
The following is the poem that has that theme:
You are the healing
You are the laughing
You are the dancing
Jesus, verb of God
You are the moving —
move in me.
Over the years it has been a wonderful journey thinking of God as a verb, and thinking of Jesus as the Verb of God. Verbs are action words, whereas nouns stand still.
In the life of the Church, we are now in the season of Easter. Easter is not one day, but a season of 50 days. Easter is about the mystery of God, it is about an empty tomb, new life, and life lived in the abundance of God’s love. Easter does not stand still but is a ‘verb’ in the life of those who follow the risen Christ.
Another book I re-read recently is by Peter Short, past Moderator of the United Church of Canada.
In one of his reflection stories he talks about Easter, offering the challenge to think — not about resurrection — but about ‘the rising’. We would do that he says, “because resurrection is about life, and nothing about life would have us stand still.’ Peter would claim that the word resurrection ‘is a burdened old noun, desperately wanting to be replaced by a verb …”
“When you think of the rising and speak of it and dream of the rising, and live it, you are leaving the estate of theory and crossing over into the changing landscape of happening.
“From the resurrection to the rising: when in the presence of a stunning happening, only a verb will do.” (P. 37)
So where does Easter and the rising, come alive in us, and where is it seen in what we do, what we say, and how we live?
Do we find the amazing truth of Easter and God’s love for us in our actions of justice and compassion?
‘The rising’ meets us in the strength of hands holding our hands when we are afraid or feeling alone.
‘The rising’ accompanies us as we celebrate new life, and ponder life’s endings.
‘The rising’ meets us un-invited, in death, in life, in mystery, in the deep grounding of a very present God.
Rising is real. It is not a symbol. It is a crossing over into life. It is life, for all it is worth; life forever.
Rising means that the unconditional love of God holds us intimately in the action of the unconditional love of the Christ.
Rising is the verb of Easter, a never-ending Easter. A journey, a mystery that we are all invited to be a part of.
Outside Eden, by Peter Short, Toronto: Observer Publications Inc. 2006.
God is a Verb!, by Marilee zdenek, Word Inc. Waco, Texas 1974.
Hilde J. Seal is one of the Ministers at Knox
United Church, Parksville.