A blessed Easter season to all our readers! Christ is risen! Alleluia! He who once was dead is raised to new life, a new life completely unknown before this. Easter changed everything.
Easter changed death. Where once death had meant eternal separation from the living, now we know death is a doorway to the eternal presence of our living God and the “company of all the saints.” We now see that death is a process that returns our first container (body) to the dust and fits us with a new one ready for new life.
Easter changed life by confirming that there is nothing that will hold God back from being our partner in life, now and forever. Jesus’ resurrection was God’s stamp of approval on Jesus’ life. In Jesus, God gives us all the model for new life.
So, what is this model of new life? First of all, it’s not a life spent trying to get to heaven or avoid hell. Rather, it’s a life lived in deeply trusting relationship with God and God’s people. It is a life marked by confidence in God’s love and trust in God’s loving way. What is this loving way? It’s the way of living that Jesus had in mind when he said, “If you love me you will keep my commandments.”
So, you might wisely ask, what are his commandments? One of Jesus’ commandments, one that he called “new,” is to love one another like Jesus loved his followers. And he loved them by being with them, among them, and attentive to them as if he were only interested in serving them. Once, he washed the feet of everyone who was in the room with him, even those he knew would soon betray him, abandon him, and deny they ever knew him. He loved them all. And he loved them to the end.
Jesus did this and all his other acts of love in order to create a community that would live like he did. And he knew he couldn’t do it alone. So he leaned on God. As he leaned on God to live God’s loving way in a world greedy for wealth, power, and personal freedom, he encourages and teaches us to lean on (love) one another so that we can find the courage and wisdom to live God’s way of self-giving service in this world. As Jesus leaned on God so that he could live his way of peace in a violent world, he encourages and teaches us to lean on him by leaning on each other so we can live as peacemakers, too.
As we actively love Jesus and live his way by obeying his commandments, and as we take seriously his teaching to stay together and serve together even when others betray, abandon, or deny us, then together we will be a force making his presence more active in this world. And just think how a more active presence of Jesus Christ would change our world. Imagine that.
But, first, it must change my life.
Will you help me change? I will help you. Together we can do this. At least that’s what Jesus said.
May we all see the help we have in God, the one with the will and the power to change everything.
Christ is risen. Wow.