Practicing the Resurrection
NBA Hall of Fame Allen Iverson once famously and somewhat derisively went on and on talking about “practice" in a press conference saying, "Practice. We talking about practice. Not a game. We talking about practice.”
It doesn’t matter what your vocation or avocation is, practice is crucial to success. The same thing is true when it comes to following Jesus and His call to honor your parents or love your enemies; these things take practice. It is also true of scriptural truths, like the resurrection; it takes practice. I borrowed this idea from Wendell Berry in his poem entitled Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front which encourages a counter-cultural practice of resurrection. Berry specifically encourages a life that swims upstream of culture; a belief in resurrection that when practiced produces things like grace, laughter and joy, even in the face of death. It is a practiced belief that affirms the cross wasn’t a defeat reversed in the resurrection, but rather the cross was the victory confirmed by the bursting forth of the body! Practicing resurrection is the galvanizing of body and soul to live a life of hope even while in exile.
So why are we talking about resurrection and exile? Because this week we come to the last of our studies in the life of Elisha (Check out 2 Kings 13:14-25). Written for God’s people in exile, the lives of both Elijah and Elisha have been repeatedly on display so that we would know that God does not abandon His people. As the ministry of these two amazing prophets comes to an end, we are encourage to see through them to THE prophet who puts the exclamation point on all that they prefigure. While Elisha’s bones bring life to one, Jesus bursts forth to bring life to all enfolded into Him.
So yes, Mr. Iverson. Yes we are. "We talking about PRACTICE.”