Thursday 9 May 2024

What Do You Mean?

We’re at the end of the season of Easter. It seems kind of ironic to say that, given that Easter is the season of new life and new beginnings, but here we are. The season ends, but the new life lives on. Doesn’t it?

That was in our theme for the season, “Daring to Live as an Easter People.” The idea was to share the stories of people bringing new life to the world by living “Jesus” into the world. From that, we could once again be reminded that we, too, can live “Jesus” into the world.

You’re wondering about the quotes around Jesus, aren’t you. It’s meant with respect.

See, I don’t think Jesus was trying to teach us that we can live like him, specifically, or that we can behave differently by following him, specifically, or - especially - that we can come closer to God by worshipping Jesus, specifically (I think he’d hate that). I don’t think Jesus was trying to show us a power we don’t have. I think Jesus was trying to show us that everything that is in Jesus, is in us, too. We are divine and earthly, just as Jesus is. We are, in our heart of hearts, good. We begin in life that way and it’s our experiences that will either enhance and encourage that or undermine and discourage it. Jesus is uniquely aware of the divine and in touch with the humane, that’s Jesus’ true power. Our’s is broken and seems distant from God. We’ve lost touch with the presence of the divine in our own being.

What Jesus is trying to show us is that God is in us, too, and that we are capable of all that is “Jesus” - what John, and the earliest followers called “The Way.”

Hmm. More quotes around that.

I’ve talked about this before. I like to talk about it. I even tried to call it “Jesusing,” a verb, because being Jesus is action. That didn’t really take, but the point is still true, whatever name, label or description we give it, however we know it: all that is in Jesus is in all of us, too. Jesus was trying to show us that.

That brings me back to the “Daring to Live as an Easter People” theme. The people whose stories we shared weren’t figures from scripture. They weren’t saints, they weren’t religious leaders and they weren’t the usual inspiring figures from history like Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr. or Nelson Mandela. They were people from our communities, local people that you might know. Your neighbour, even. They were ordinary, everyday people, that would probably tell you they weren’t special, they were just doing what they felt was right and good. Some of that was showing love, kindness, care and compassion, but it was also about justice, equity and reconciliation, too. 

It’s so easy to distance ourselves from scripture, from the saints and from the famous and larger-than-life figures of history. But look around you. Jesus is alive in your neighbour, in people you know, in friends and family, in people you can talk to, touch and embrace. Jesus is alive in you.

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