by The Rev. Janice Ford, Rector
The Church of the Reconciliation (Episcopal)
5 North Main Street, Webster
There is a new television show on ABC this spring (Sundays at 9:00 p.m.) called “Resurrection,” and it has caught my attention. This is unusual since I generally don’t watch a lot of TV. I was first intrigued by the title, and soon the promotional ads had me waiting impatiently for the series to begin. As I write this column there have only been two episodes, but yes, I am hooked.
The premise of the series revolves around an eight-year-old American boy who was found alone and wandering aimlessly in a small town in China. He is brought to the American Embassy where the government officials give him to an immigration agent to be taken to the U.S. to try and determine where he came from. Long story short, his family is found, and they are reunited. Problem: this little boy died in a drowning accident 32 years before. In the second episode, a relative of this same family who had recently died from a heart attack appears back in town, with no explanation for his “death.”
The second episode ended with the suggestion that there is more going on here than meets the eye. There is a great deal of subtext, and more questions than answers. I am curious to see how this will all evolve. It is good drama. Good entertainment. This kind of story can only be entertainment for Christians, however. We believe that Jesus is the only one who was, or will be raised from the dead, and our very salvation is rooted in that resurrection.
Every Easter we remember Jesus’ resurrection in a special way, even though every Sunday is truly the memorial of that event. Christ’s resurrection is the only reason we have hope of eternal life, so there is simply no way to overstate its importance. However, I do believe that God has also given us the grace to be “raised” from the dead in this life; specifically the death we suffer at the hands of our addictions. Whether we are addicted to drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, food, sex, or gambling, etc., we can, with God’s help, bury those parts of ourselves that are killing us, and, with God’s help, be raised to a new life.
The work of being raised from our addictions begins with total surrender to God’s will, and an understanding that there is simply no way we can do it alone. Hollywood may have an endless supply of special effects, fanciful scripts, and ways to try and make us believe in the impossible, but only God has the ability to save us. Jesus did this once and for all by his death and resurrection, and so made our eternal salvation possible, but we can call upon God yet again to save us from those things that are killing us in this life. When we cry out to God, “Lord, help me,” we will receive an answer that no TV show could ever hope to dramatize.