We are already on Chapter 6 in the book and the title of this chapter is “Present Risenness”. The chapter starts off with a story where G.K.Chesterton is asked by a reporter “If the risen Christ suddenly appeared at this very moment and stood behind you, what would you do?” His answer —“He is.” And so it is—-Christ that we know from our knowledge of the Bible is actually the Christ who stands next to us. Pretty powerful stuff!
As usual Manning explores the concept of the risen Christ in much detail with rich quotes and examples from others which just help to solidify the thoughts in our mind. As he writes “the surest way to know God is, in the words of Thomas Aquinas, as tamquam ignotum, as utterly unknowable. No thought can contain Him, no word can express Him: He is beyond anything we can intellectualize or imagine.” Yet we still try to put Him in a box and contain him, don’t we??
This chapter seems very timely with Easter just around the corner (where does time go?). Reading about the resurrection and “risenness” makes me more aware of Christ in our midst. Manning has such a great way of retelling situations that have occurred either in his life or in the lives of others that are in actuality the touch of God. His examples ring true and I realize once again that so many of the things that have happened to me that others would say were coincidences are so obviously the touch of God in my life. When someone is brought to mind and I drop them a quick note only to find later that that note arrived on a very difficult day for that person, or a phone call is placed at just the exact moment that that other person needs to hear my voice…..These are God in His risenness.
There were many things underlined in my book this time and perhaps the one that I would like to close with was a quote by Roger Garaudy, a famous communist philosopher (though I had never heard of him!!!) when he says “I do not know much about this man (Jesus), but I do know that his whole life conveys this one message: ‘anyone at any moment can start a new future.'” Awesome!!