Alleluia! Christ is risen!
Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!

We do that so well, resurrection fatigue or not. We do that so well because I think we really mean what we say when we shout these words; more importantly I think we really believe all that these words imply: the defeat of death; the demise of terror; the peaceful resolution of all pain and suffering; the inevitable ending of injustice and inequity; the full realization of that peace which is the design and the promised result of God's great love. The time, already dawning but still yet to come when all creation, all society, all people will be whole and well and strong and united in the loving presence of our loving God.

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!

We believe that. We believe all that these words imply. It's our duty and joy and our intent to creatively shape life so that life reflects the reality we proclaim. That's the only news I want to hear because with all of you I believe that everything good and bright and beautiful flows to us and through us from Christ's resurrection.
Alleluia! Christ is risen!
Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Because we believe that everything good and just, beautiful, bright and right flows from the truth behind these words, these are the only words I, for one, want to hear. I want to spend my all my remaining days exulting in green pastures, refreshed by clean waters and basking in the light of Christ's death and resurrection and using Christ's death and resurrection -- God's resounding YES echoed so beautifully here to transform the church, the city and the world and to realize the dreams we have and share.

"Alleluia! Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed!" Is the only thing I want to know but it is not the only thing we are forced to hear. What we hear is a roaring NO and we gather in the valley of a looming shadow. A marvelous Orthodox chant precisely described our predicament and our hoped-for response to that predicament:

Even weeping at the grave we make our song: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

How can we do that honestly and with integrity?
- Some of us live with inoperable, terminal cancer.
- Others, with unfathomable depression, worsening heart disease, debilitating diabetes and all kinds of distress.

We live, literally, under the shadow of uncertainty.

- Our country writhes with anger, hatred, legislated bigotry, enforced racism and both real and imagined threats that cause some to lash out, some to shut down and others to cower in fear.
- Our world groans and shutters wherever one clan or sect or culture rubs another.
- The earth shows more fragility each and every day.
- And people, ordinary people? People are so edgy, emotions are so fragile, it's as if the atmosphere – the very air we breathe seems so flammable that any little friction will cause everything to explode.

Where can we find the Son-light, how can we find the courage to honestly and with integrity, even under this shadow, even weeping at the grave, make our song and the theme of our life a
joyful Alleluia!?

"My sheep hear my voice. I know them. They follow me. I give them eternal life and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. ...and no one can snatch [them] out of the Father's hand. The Father and I are one."

That's the voice spoken for us to listen to. That's the YES whispered for us to listen to and hear. Amidst the cacophony of NO, that's the voice announcing YES even under the shadow, even at the grave.

Like me, you may be too distracted to hear that voice. Like John and last week's fishing disciples, you too may be suffering from "resurrection fatigue." "Alleluia" living may be too much for us to handle right now. Sweat not.

The better translation of the last verse of the 23rd Psalm directly addresses that tiredness; that disquietedness; that fatigue. You know it as the relatively passive sentence — Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life — more a pious hope than God's dynamic act. The force of the original Hebrew is not so passive but much more active; much
more helpful to us living under the shadow or weeping at the grave.

"Surely goodness and mercy shall pursue me all the days of my life" is that better translation. That's God gathering, embracing, nourishing, sending -- acting for us even under the shadow, acting for us even weeping at the grave. That's the God who, with the church on earth and the hosts of heaven, we are bold to worship. That's due God who enables us at all times and in all places to joyfully proclaim:

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
Christ is risen indeed, Alleluia!

Amandus J. Derr
Saint Peter's Church
in the City of New York