In, above and beyond the reality each of us knows is the reality of God and the love that exists between God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The love between the Three in One prompted the creation of all that is – the heavens, the earth and everything under the earth. Through this love, God created people, crowned us with glory and called us to live showing love to one another by doing justice, showing mercy and walking humbly with God. The world enticed us, our desires entrapped us and we were unable to live into our calling as the people created lower than God. Even when the heart was willing, the body was weak. God repeatedly sent holy men and women to remind us of our calling and teach us about holy living. We repeatedly turned aside and went our own way.
In spite of our response to God, God continued to love us and desire the very best for us. In the fullness of time, God sent the beloved Son, Jesus the Christ, both to teach us about holy love and to show us how to live. Jesus loved and cared for all people, especially those standing at the edges of society, those scorned by the religious leaders, the politically powerful and the socially correct.Because Jesus championed God’s love above all else, He was considered to be a threat to the status quo which prompted the powerful of his world to join forces to kill him.Jesus could have saved himself by denying God’s purpose for life and recanting his teachings. Refusing to do either, Jesus was faithful to the end, faithful to God and faithful to the ones who believed in him. For love’s sake, Jesus died an ignominious and painful death on the cross. While his enemies rejoiced and the crowd mocked and scorned him, Jesus quietly but powerfully defeated the forces of evil once and for all. On the third day, God rolled the stone away from the tomb where Jesus’ body lay and called Jesus to come forth. It was a declaration that love never dies, hope never ends and God’s possibility is ever before us.
You and I
What was the tree of death for as Jesus has become the tree of life for each of us. Jesus died so that we might know the depth of his love and God’s love for us. He died that we might have life in all its abundance. The abundant life is available to each of us. All we have to do to is believe in and follow him. He promises that if we do so, He will send his Holy Spirit to live within us and wean us from the world’s way. The Spirit transforms, renews and enables us to live as Jesus’ disciples, doing justice, showing mercy and walking humbly with God. This transformation does not usually take place overnight but is rather a lifelong process engendered by participation in a community of faith. In community, we are welcomed at the font, taught the stories of faith and strengthened at the table to go into the world and witness to what we believe. In community, we grow into Christ who is the head of the church.