Mind Matters

by Rev. Robert H. Tucker

Number 267
October 27, 1997

"I Believe in the Resurrection
of the Dead"


Never was I comfortable with that part of the Nicene Creed. Although not believing that everything needs to be rational (and many truly important things are not), I could not accept belief that went contrary to reason. Yet, out-of-hand dismissal of this essential Christian belief was impossible. So, for decades, I lived between not believing and feeling the need to believe.

This dilemma dissolved when I found resurrection an observable fact of life.

For too long, I thought a person's value depended on what that person added to the human enterprise. Sharing in people's defeats and deaths, and then watching individuals rise from their grief and despair caused me to realize that resurrection was ever before me.

The tenacity of the human spirit--living on in spite of the death of dreams, the death of ideals and values, the death of people--is resurrection. At least, that is what I have come to believe.

Given the multiple forms of human death we experience, it is easy to enshrine death in fatalism or resignation: "That's the way the ball bounces;" or "Life is just one damn thing after another." Resurrection--affirming life--is not a denial of death, nor a dismissal of death, nor a passive acceptance of death, nor a defiance of death. Resurrection accepts the full reality, agony and terror death, but believes that life is even stronger and is the true reflection of reality.

Surprisingly, when I tell others that they are resurrection people, they are uneasy with the designation. Living in the protective tombs of rote habit, frozen emotion and tightly proscribed thinking is a bondage not easily broken. But when the tombs are left behind, then the true power of words such as joy and hope is evident.

Resurrection is the affirmation of life even in and through death. I now gladly affirm: "I believe in the resurrection of the dead." Not as an abstract doctrine nor as proven fact, but as a genuinely true affirmation: light shines in the darkness, and life, not death, reigns.


--Robert H. Tucker
27 October 1997

© Robert H. Tucker, 1997.
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