Friday, April 13, 2007

Easter Sunday

During Holy Week I had the privilege of burying a Christian man with a strong witness to the steady hand of God. It was very appropriate that during the week on which we buried him we as Christians were looking forward to the celebration of the resurrection the following Sunday.

Jesus of Nazareth lives outwardly, a life that looks beyond himself toward the needs of others. "He came to love, heal, and forgive" is how the Gaither's describe it. But the mission Christ the Messiah was always an other-worldly focus. He was passionate and committed to doing His Father's will and only his fathers will. Good Friday's "not my will, but yours, be done." Luke 22:42 reminds us of this.

Praise God that His mission is to create for himself a people, not just persons. And Praise God that Christ was willing to form that people by his own body and blood.

"When we embrace faith—when God embraces us—we become new creatures constituted and called to be part of the people of God. We are invited into the story of God's engagement with humanity"—Miroslav Volf

One half of God's mission involves calling a people to himself. When we heal, love and forgive we take part in this half. But the second half of God's mission involves centering that people, establishing that people, "constituting" that people in and around Himself. When we risk, when we give, when we ask for forgiveness, when we fall on our knees before God and say "not my will, but yours, be done." We take part in the second half.

The "Free Hugs" campaign is a nice idea, but it seem a little ways off from a faith that both embraces and is embraced by God.

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