The Greek word for resurrection is anastasis. It’s a compund of two words ana “again” and stasis “to stand” so at its crudest, it means “stand up again.” That’s it, there’s no deep or esoteric meaning here, resurrection means to stand up again.
In the cuter version, it includes the process of convalescence, the slow standing up again after injury has knocked us flat. Thus it has a flavor of healing in it as well, and the compound of all these notions: resurrection, convalescence, healing come together in the popular girl’s name Anastasia. So yeah, if you know an Anastasia and want to tease her, you can indeed and correctly call her “resurrection.” (This blog is not responsible if you get beaten about the head and shoulders for doing so.)
But getting back from silliness, the next time you want to experience resurrection in your life, stand up. Yes really, that’s it. From a sitting, lying, or even scrunched over on the floor position… stand up. The standing doesn’t have to be anything more than just getting to your feet. There are no fine moves needed, you do not have to stand up to someone or stand up for something, just stand up.
Early in the morning on that first day of the week, Jesus just stood up, and his standing broke the gates of hell forever. So when you or I are in the dark and the deep longing for light and hope, the thing to do is to stand up. The thing we can do is to resurrect.
All of that is rather nice and a bit fun but it is also deadly serious and deeply relevant to our lives today. You see, most of us have one or more places in our life where we are not standing. Places where, due to history, loss, experience, or one of the myriad other reasons, we do not stand and may even believe that we cannot stand. These are the places in our living which need resurrection.
What can we do then if we need to stand up but do not believe that we can? Try anyway (because even our feeble trying gives God a wedge to work with against what is wrong), trust that God does indeed give the growth to our effort, and treasure the small wins along the way. One of the great works of evil is to get us to ignore the small shoots of green growth in our lives because they “aren’t a giant tree” and dismiss them as “worthless.”
While for Jesus, the work of resurrection was comparatively quick, our resurrections tend to be slow and incrimental. They tend to come after much effort, reflection, and growth. While deeply annoying, this is true and faithful to the way people grow. A seed does not become a sequoia overnight, it begins with the mighty tree in potentia and grows into that being. We too carry the fullness of our union with Christ within us and it is both fully real and still just the seed of the mighty tree it will become.
So we let it grow, we stand up in trust, and we stand up again and again. And every time we get out of bed or rise up from our chair, we have a little resurrection.