Dear Sisters and Brothers,
I am writing this on Easter Sunday. A glorious sunny day.
In Luke’s account of the Resurrection the women went to the tomb and found no body. ‘While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.’ (Luke 24.4-7 NRSV)
I think this passage raises questions for us as God’s people in the area, as followers of the Son of Man.
If we are to follow the Son of Man how can we act so that we are ‘handed over to sinners’? How can we best witness to and serve those who live around us, not with a view to enhancing our status or drawing more to our church societies but with the real expectation that we will die because of our actions. For it is only in being handed over and being crucified that we will find the life of resurrection.
Our actions are more often to do with maintaining our church buildings, continuing what we have always been doing, and hoping that something will happen which will keep things going as they are. The Resurrection, the central declaration of the Christian message, promises us new life, if we will embrace crucifixion. The death of what we have been, in order that we can become what God would have us be.
This will not be comfortable for us, death never is. This will not be easy for us, birth never is. But if we can accept the death of ourselves, the societies and patterns which we treasure most, new life, being born again, beckons.
In John’s Gospel we are told that Jesus said, ‘I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.’ (John 10.10b NRSV)
May we be willing to embrace the sacrificial death which leads to abundant life in Christ.
Your brother in Christ,