Saturday, March 26, 2016

Paradise regained

Joyce Sasse

Joyce Sasse, Spiritual Gleanings

As we approach the cross we get caught up in the anxieties, wrongdoings and suffering that surrounds us. But, as an Easter People we know there is more to the story.

And anonymous writer gives words to Pilate’s wife who asked “Is he dead?”

“No”, the Centurion replied. “He is not dead. He is let loose in the world!” Forever the ongoing spirit and vitality of Christ exposes the mercy and love of God for all of us.

John’s Gospel opens: “Before the world was created, the Word already existed. He was with God, and He was the same as God. Through Him God made all things. The Word was the source of life, and this life brought light to humankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out.”

Earlier story-tellers speak of a Paradise (the Garden of Eden) out of which Adam and Eve were expelled because they wouldn’t accept responsibility for their disobedience.

But the Easter stories show how Christ re-opened the gates to “Paradise” thus restoring our ability to live up to our God-given capabilities.

God has a great love-affair with all of Creation, and has given us full capacity to love beauty, justice, joy and peace. The challenge is for us to accomplish that reality. While it is not possible for any of us to do this alone, we do it as we live responsibly, in relationship with each other and with the Creation.

“God did not send the Son into the world to put the world on trial, but so the world might be rescued through him.” (Gospel of John)

The Passion Narratives declare that we should never again be silent in the face of violence, fear, the fragmenting of human community or the suppressing of justice. As an Easter people, we live with dignity and courage.

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