More with Less is a phrase Mennonites converted into a widely-loved cookbook franchise and spiritual guide to eating. I borrow that phrase here in thinking about the resurrection of Jesus.
The Apostle Paul writes 1 Corinthians 15 twenty-five years or so after the Sunday morning when Jesus rose from the dead. His account of this resurrection precedes the written accounts recorded in the four gospels. He tells his readers that the gospel of Jesus makes no sense without a resurrection (of which Jesus is the first to be resurrected), and that if we embrace this gospel we need to live as people of hope.
So if we are going to be people of the resurrection, we need to return to a more with less:
- Less self-preservation and more God exaltation.
- Less Condemnation and more commendation.
- Less self-deception and more holy conception.
- Less diet in trash, slash and clash, and much more class.
- Less fear of tomorrow and more hope for today.
- Less navigating through life by what we don’t like and more steering toward our calling.
- Less suspicion and more permission.
- Less critique and more applique.
- Less aspersion and more conversion.
- Less destructive behavior and more consulting the Savior.
- Less hedonism and more paying heed to our sins.
- Less gossip, slander and sharing our “concerns,” and more praise, encouragement and doing of good turns.
- Less treating our body as a god and a temple and more treating our body as a temple for God.
- Less lust for possessions and more trust for provisions.
- Less titillation and more telling the nations.
- Less unwillingness, reticence and unavailability: more inspiration, preparation and perspiration.
- Less hoarding and more rewarding.
- Less spiritual blindness and more merciful kindness.
- Less complaining, infighting and judgment and much more penance, repentance and recompense.
- Less consternation and more communion.
- Less sorrow over our loss and more anticipation of reward.
- Less holding the line and more going where we are sent.
- Less supervising others and more loving our neighbor.
- Less hovering, worrying and wringing our hands and more embracing, praising and bending our knees.
- Less grouchy-gripies and more joyful smilies.
- Less of the grave and much more of the resurrection.
It is our ability to keep bringing life into death, light into shadows, and hope in apparent hopelessness that brings notice to the message Jesus taught his followers and offers to all. Unless our hope is meaningfully lived in front of others, it is as if the stone at the tomb remains firmly in place.
-mark l vincent