Capital Commentary is the weekly current-affairs publication of CPJ, written to encourage the pursuit of public justice.
Christ is Risen!
April 22, 2011
by Gideon Strauss
"Christ is risen!" "He is risen indeed!" "Alleluia!"
These affirmations will ring loudly around the world as Christians celebrate Easter.
That Christ is risen is the central reality of the Christian life—and the public truth central to all of reality. The resurrection of Christ is the hope by which Christians live and the hope that enlivens the prospect of the world to come: a world in which all will be made right, God's creatures will flourish in a peaceable order, and God will be glorified.
It is the risen Christ who calls us to himself. It is by Christ's death and resurrection that we can answer the call. And it is as we answer this call that we find ourselves walking a way that includes faithful service for the good of our neighbors.
Serving the good of our neighbors includes serving the common good in the public realm. Making a contribution to the political life of America is for Christians both possible and necessary, in the deepest sense, because Christ is risen.
Were Christ not risen, apathy or cynicism would be viable political options. Without Christ—as the book of Ecclesiastes makes clear—nothing matters. Everything is meaningless. No part of life has any more lasting significance than the fog of breath on a mirror. We may as well go about our hopeless business eking out personal pleasure and leaving the public realm to whomever cared, for whatever reason they may care.
Were Christ not risen, alternatively, we could pursue power and wealth and express our personal freedom and greatness with intensity and abandon, letting the chips fall where they may for the weak, the poor, and the vulnerable. Inspired by the tawdry schlock of Ayn Rand or the beautiful poetic philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, we could forge a world of ego supreme.
But Christ is risen. And as he extends his grace to us, he calls us into his service. I am inspired by the people I meet each day who are loving our neighbors in public service because they know that God first loved them.
I am inspired by an elected legislator with a reputation for unblemished integrity after decades of service in the national capital. I am inspired by a young woman working daily with city politicians and bureaucrats in a great city to ensure access to housing for the most vulnerable. I am inspired by a policy analyst who relentlessly weighs costs and benefits to determine what federal programs work and—through it all—still asks if governments properly should do even what they effectively can do, if other human communities are to enjoy the room to flourish.
Because Christ is risen, thousands and tens of thousands of
his followers risk and invest, labor and sacrifice, study and debate, for the
common good. On whatever scale you and I are called to include political
service in our service of the risen Christ, let us answer.
—Gideon Strauss is editor of Capital Commentary and CEO of the Center for Public Justice.
“To respond to the author of this Commentary please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Capital Commentary is a weekly current-affairs publication of the Center for Public Justice. Published since 1996, it is written to encourage the pursuit of justice. Commentaries do not necessarily represent an official position of the Center for Public Justice but are intended to help advance discussion. Articles, with attribution, may be republished according to our publishing guidelines.”