What a wonderful and meaningful Lent and Eastertide! Thank you to all of you for your worship, prayer, and faith! I hesitate to name names because there will inevitably be someone who I forget to name. However, I must say thank you to our staff, Lana, Annette, and John, and to our choir, and our Altar Guild for all of their hard work.
We are now in the Easter Season. This is a time of renewal of self and understanding of our mission as the Church - the Body of Christ. I believe a great starting point for us is an article from the Wall Street Journal, The Easter Effect and How It Changed the World by George Weigel.1
The premise of this article is that what happened in Jesus’ resurrection profoundly changed how his followers thought about Him and themselves. In turn, it caused them to change their own motivations and how they lived their lives. It was so profound that it caused a group of relatively insignificant people to believe in something that was quite preposterous. Their belief in Jesus’ resurrection and what it meant for their lives made them live life so differently that the whole world took notice… and still does.
As mostly Jewish people who had been waiting for a very different sort of Messiah, they recognized in Jesus’ Resurrection that “God’s Kingdom had come not at the end of time but within time—and that had changed the texture of both time and history. History continued, but those shaped by the Easter Effect became the people who knew how history was going to turn out. Because of that, they could live differently. The Easter Effect impelled them to bring a new standard of equality into the world and to embrace death as martyrs if necessary—because they knew, now, that death did not have the final word in the human story.”
Something had happened that had never happened before in the history of the World. Things were now different—very different. “Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore”.
What happened to Jesus was going to happen to those who followed Him. This allowed them to understand that they could live in much the same way Jesus did. What they had experienced in following Jesus around was what they now had to offer to others. The truths that Christ opened to them in his life and ministry—and now ESPECIALLY in the Resurrection—they would offer to others. As Weigel says:
Christian mission is inconceivable without Easter. And that mission would eventually lead these sons and daughters of Abraham to the conviction that the promise that God had made to the People of Israel had been extended to those who were not sons and daughters of Abraham. Because of Easter, the gentiles, too, could be embraced in a relationship—a covenant—with the one God, which was embodied in righteous living.2
The Gentiles, of course, are you and me. And as followers of Christ we have also made covenant with the One God. That sort of thing tends to and ought to change people.
This is what we should observe about our lives. What is it about being Eastered that changes us? How are we changed? What are we doing about it? What, as a community of Christ’s followers—Resurrection believers—are we doing about it in our community? How does that change the world?
Fr. Will +
LINKS & RESOURCES
1 George Weigel, https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-easter-effect-and-how-it-changed-the-world-1522418701