Skip to main content
Center for Action and Contemplation
A Resurrection Faith
A Resurrection Faith

Resurrection Fuels Hopeful Action

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Author Debie Thomas describes why our belief in Jesus’ resurrection matters:   

I believe that the historic creed I profess with countless other Christians on Sunday mornings tells me something essential and true: we believe in “the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.” If we abandon this belief, we’ll do so to our impoverishment and our peril.  

Why do I feel this way?… We live in a world marred by too many mass shootings to count, daily headlines of war, a rapidly worsening climate, increasing economic inequality, ongoing racist violence, and a second global pandemic of mental illness and anguish.  

In the face of all this, I need to know that a better world is not just possible but assured. I need to trust that God’s salvation encompasses not only those of us who enjoy fairly comfortable lives here on earth but also those who will not experience the salvific love, vindication, healing, and justice of God in this life.  

In other words, I believe in heaven because I believe in God’s salvation for the children who have died and will die in elementary school classrooms because the United States worships guns. For the millions around the world who died of the coronavirus before vaccines were developed. For Black, brown, Indigenous, gay, and transgender Americans who live in perpetual fear of violence and recrimination on our streets. For the young people who live under the shadow of mental illnesses that modern medicine can’t yet alleviate. For casualties of war around the world. For people in chronic pain…. For all these people … I need to know that, while we have every obligation to alleviate suffering in this world, the salvation of God’s precious children does not, finally, depend upon our clumsy efforts.…  

I worry [that] … if Christians lose our belief in the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come, we will also lose the ferocity of our hope, the holy restlessness that leads us to action, the commitment to justice that fuels our prophetic lament, solidarity, resilience, and courage. After all, how will we pray for God’s kingdom to come, and how will we credibly usher in that kingdom in whatever small ways we can here and now, if we don’t believe in its ultimate fulfillment? [1]  

Thomas names the paradox of Jesus’ resurrection and continued woundedness:  

If the resurrection really is the best good news that has ever hit the planet, then its goodness doesn’t depend on us.… The tomb is empty. Death is vanquished. Jesus lives. Period. We are not in charge of Easter; God is.  

In fact, Jesus’s own resurrected body speaks to the importance of lament in the midst of joy. Even in the most triumphant story ever told in Scripture or history, scars remain (John 20:27)…. Resurrection is a way forward from the grave that honors the scars we carry, helping us to bear them with resilience and hope. [2]  

[1] Debie Thomas, A Faith of Many Rooms: Inhabiting a More Spacious Christianity (Minneapolis, MN: Broadleaf Books, 2024), 100–101, 102.  

[2] Thomas, Faith of Many Rooms, 120–121. 

Image credit: Jenna Keiper, Untitled (detail), Washington, 2020, photograph, used with permission. Click here to enlarge image. The first rays of sun caressing our faces remind us of the importance of new beginnings, of waiting, of awe. 

Story from Our Community:  

Recently, I’ve felt the Daily Meditations speaking directly to me and my situation. I retired earlier this month from the job I had for twenty years. This retirement, while welcomed, was unexpected and unplanned. I am now like Jonah in the whale’s belly, uncertain where I will land. I have to set aside my knowledge and adopt “a beginner’s mind.” Understanding this as a normal and necessary process gives me confidence in God’s resurrection in my life. —Phil K. 

Navigate by Date

This year’s theme

A candle being lit

Radical Resilience

We live in a world on fire. This year the Daily Meditations will explore contemplation as a way to build Radical Resilience so we can stand in solidarity with the world without burning up or burning out. The path ahead may be challenging, but we can walk it together.

The archives

Explore the Daily Meditations

Explore past meditations and annual themes by browsing the Daily Meditations archive. Explore by topic or use the search bar to find wisdom from specific teachers.

Join our email community

Sign-up to receive the Daily Meditations, featuring reflections on the wisdom and practices of the Christian contemplative tradition.

Hidden Fields

Find out about upcoming courses, registration dates, and new online courses.
Our theme this year is Radical Resilience. How do we tend our inner flame so we can stand in solidarity with the world without burning up or out? Meditations are emailed every day of the week, including the Weekly Summary on Saturday. Each week builds on previous topics, but you can join at any time.
In a world of fault lines and fractures, how do we expand our sense of self to include love, healing, and forgiveness—not just for ourselves or those like us, but for all? This monthly email features wisdom and stories from the emerging Christian contemplative movement. Join spiritual seekers from around the world and discover your place in the Great Story Line connecting us all in the One Great Life. Conspirare. Breathe with us.