St. Paul isn’t the only one who understands the nature and meaning of the resurrection.
My youngest sister has three daughters. She and her husband are very conscientious about telling their daughters the bible stories from an early age. My sister will preface the story by saying to the girls, now pay attention.
One Easter the family was assembled for Easter brunch at my sisters. In order to show that Ashley, age three, knew her bible stories and the meaning of Easter, Ashley was asked What did Jesus do at Easter? In front of the family audience, Ashley thought hard for a minute and then proudly piped up He paid attention.
Out of the mouths of babes. He paid attention, indeed. Attention. Resurrection.
Ashley was on to something in her answer. Jesus did pay attention.
He paid attention to who he was. He paid attention to the faith in which he was born and raised. He paid attention to the social, political and religious world that he was born into. And he paid attention to the longings, hopes and dreams of the people he encountered during his life. He paid attention to his ‘calling’, to his life work. He paid attention to the story of Israel and then he paid attention to how he might go about gathering together the dispersed tribes of Israel. He paid attention to those who could help him in his work by calling them to follow him. He paid attention to not only his friends, but also to his enemies. He paid attention not only to the high born, but also to the lowest in his society. He paid attention to the will of his Father as he understood it. And when it seemed that his paying attention got him the wrong kind of attention, he attended to a way not of political power or the sway of the sword, but attended to who he knew himself to be.
So that now perhaps we can chime in with Ashley and say that in the lengthening light of each Easter day and beyond Jesus continues to pay attention, he pays attention now to us.