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  • Writer's pictureJeff Conway

Anastasis - Resurrection

God, my shepherd!

I don’t need a thing.

You have bedded me down in lush meadows,

You find me quiet pools to drink from.

True to your word, you let me catch my breath

And send me in the right direction.

Even when the way goes through Death Valley,

I’m not afraid when you walk by my side.

Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure.

You serve me a six-course meal right in front of my enemies.

You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing.

Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life.

I’m back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.

-The Message Psalm 23

“Dad, there’s really not a tall bunny that sneaks into our house late and night and leaves a basket? Because that would freak me out.” Barrett said in his kindergarten years.

“No, your mother prepares and leaves the basket,” I answered.

Addison was younger. He didn’t care where the candy came from, he just was thrilled with his two favorite food groups: peanut butter and chocolate.

What makes you freak out? Maybe something bad like a mouse or a snake? Possibly something good like a rollercoaster or a basket of candy?

When I was first drawn to a painting by Randall LaGro I couldn’t quite describe why it captivated me. I went and gazed at it a second time before we left the art gallery in Taos, New Mexico. The next day I went into the gallery a second time. This large piece of multi-media art, in shades of blues and grey, was a ship. In the mist. The attendant came up to me, having recognized me from the day before, and asked, “What is drawing you to this piece?”

“It’s alive,” I stated.

“The piece is by Randall LaGro, a local artist, and is called, “Anastasis.”

I freaked out! Of course. The ship was coming back to life. Anastasis in Greek means, “resurrection.” Total freak out. Obviously I was drawn to this piece. It was more than alive; it was coming back to life. Brilliant.

I pray that this Holy Week you FREAK OUT! Don’t just hear the account of the resurrection as words that you have heard many times before or maybe are hearing for the first time. Why the resurrection? Why the need for a resurrection?

Love. God’s brilliant, amazing love that God has for you, for me. God, the ultimate Life-Giver, the Parent who is always be caring and always present is offering us, giving us the brilliant gift of life. THAT, should freak you out—in all of the best possible ways.

Jesus was first

Jesus Present to God,

God present to Jesus,

Jesus was God in readiness for God from day one.

Everything was created through him;

Nothing - not one thing! -

Came into being without him.

What came into existence was Life,

And the Life was Light to live by.

The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;

The darkness couldn’t put it out.

The Life-Light was the real thing;

Every person entering Life

He brings into Light.

He was in the world,

The world was there through him,

And yet the world didn’t even notice.

He came to his own people,

But they didn’t want him,

But whoever did want him,

Who believed he was who he claimed

And would do what he said,

He made to be their true selves,

Their child-of-God selves.

These are the God-begotten,

Not blood-begotten,

Not flesh-begotten,

Not sex-begotten.

Jesus became flesh and blood,

And moved into the neighborhood.

We saw the glory with our own eyes,

The one-of-a-kind glory,

Like Father, like Son,

Generous, inside and out,

True, from start to finish.

This is how much God loved the world:

He gave his son, His one and only Son.

And this is why:

So that no one need be destroyed;

By believing in him,

Anyone can have a whole and lasting life.

- The Message - The Gospel of John

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About Jeff


I've always been a fish out of water (and I love fish). From being an artist in a sports family, to a Christian who leans into the mystery of God while still trained in a Word-centered mainline tradition, and now a person in a wheelchair amongst able-bodied hikers, my life has perpetually been outside the box (or bowl). 

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