Easter Thoughts April 2023

By | 3rd April 2023

This image is called Forgiven by artist Thomas Blackshear.

It has been on my mind recently. Such a fabulous image of being rescued, salvaged – even from ourselves – note the hammer and nails that previously harmed and persecuted the very One who is now rescuing….

I was having a conversation this week with one of our hospitality team about the uncomfortable aspects of a theology – let’s call it God talk – that describes us as believers as being ‘chosen’.

So, this morning I was thinking more about that word ‘chosen’. I was thinking how initially when I became a follower of Jesus I was delighted to be ‘chosen’; delighted to be known, noticed…loved by God. To find my joy and purpose in Him.

But then as the years went on and the harder, trickier, questions arose I found myself preferring to be ‘unchosen’. Elitism is not my bag.

I found myself resistant to the idea that unless you make a public or known commitment to Christ you are not coming/going with Him…what about my dear family, friends, acquaintances, strangers across the world? What about children, elderly, traumatised, the vulnerable, those born into different faiths, cultures…what about them?

This kind of God talk now becomes wrong to me, not loving at all to me…in fact I find myself beginning to prefer the ‘unsaved’, to the me, the one who is ‘saved’! Humph now what….?

The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, prefers each other, sees no differentiation between them, accepts the other, is not complete without the other, is fully three in one.

The Trinity was/is willing to let a part of itself die even for the sake of others…for the sake of our wellbeing, our homecoming…. in Christ Jesus…

When we sense we are incomplete without the continued love and friendship of those we live and move and have our being with here on earth, even if they are not obviously believers in Christ, I ask are we experiencing something of the incompleteness of God, without us?

When we left the Garden of Eden at His insistence and for our shame, our wrongdoing, God then drew us back in, made a route back home.

When we were held in slavery and in exile in foreign lands God drew us back in.

When His son Jesus died on the cross saying He was forsaken by His Father, God the Father raises Christ up to new life – to resurrection – to continue.

When the two bereaved and disillusioned disciples meet a stranger on the road to Emmaus, they find in Him, in the stranger, the risen Lord!

Umm, perhaps we are only ‘chosen’ in order to realise we are ‘unchosen’; to mature into Trinitarian type of relationships; where always the other is preferred, wanted, valued, served- where we are willing to give up a part of ourselves, or even our whole self, for the other?

Scripture and life tells us that when one part of the body, the community, hurts we all hurt…that we live, and move, and have our being in Him and that this call to life in all its fullness surely does not deny the other, the outsider, the stranger….after all apparently He chose you and me, so He surely chooses them too!

I believe He chooses and calls everyone, everyone, we just need to respond, light up, ignite our own passion, our own faith, and the Spirit helps us with this. When we baptise infants in the Church of England we speak of God ‘who draws to Himself those whom He is calling’….powerful words, and for me that’s all of us, He turns none away. Even the thief on the cross beside Jesus on Good Friday is welcome- so very Welcome!

Easter offers time for reflection and spiritual growth for all of us, may the deep peace of Christ be yours as we try and work this thing out together, with love and prayer,

Lorraine A-H