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Everything. Everywhere. All at once...

“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness,so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.’ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:14-17

In the Gospel of John, the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ are treated summarily, so that it seems they are all one event, one event in which God changes everything.

This event is an act of grace by God to enable eternal life, a life without end that starts here and now on this earth, within us.

As Jesus had pointed out in the passage quoted above, it was an event to bring new life, a new creation into being. This new life includes new birth into the light of faith. Just as a child leaves the womb by the labours of their mother into the light of life and into the loving nature of their parents, so too are we born into an (enlightened) life of love and liberation.

As children of faith, we build up our lives by sharing the love of God and the grace of God with this world; we don’t hide our actions, but make God’s love and grace visible through them. In the Gospel of John, faith is never a noun.

Having faith, believing or trusting is always a verb, because what we do shows people what is in our hearts.

Jesus’ loving sacrifice enables our freedom, our liberation from the powers that bind us to hurt each other and to fear the powers of this world. We are free to love, to reconcile to each other and to God, to make peace. We are enabled by Jesus’ death on the cross to live lives of liberation.

Jesus’ death and resurrection is the creation born again, creating lives that enter into the light, an understanding God as a God of grace.

It creates lives of empowering love, allowing us to exhibit true loving actions by God’s grace. And, it creates lives enabled by Christ’s liberation, giving us the freedom to be grace-filled vessels of peace and reconciliation.

Covid 19 gave us a legacy of fear and exclusion. As born again Christians we must reject the life of fear of others who are different than us. We must reject the life of exclusion of others , such as when we only associate with those we know.

We have the resurrection power of God’s light, love, and liberation to help transform the world into one filled with the light of God’s grace, but only if we reach out to others, overcoming fear with love and exclusion with grace.

It is not about only inviting someone to church, but inviting them to share in your life, where you meet. Let us all this week, and every week, seek out someone who we’ve avoided or overlooked, and show them what God’s love and grace looks like in the new creation.

God of reconciliation, you call us into an eternal and grace-filled relationship with you. Because of your great love, you sent the Son and have given us the gift of the Holy Spirit, which breathes your breath of life within us. Help us to be sustained by your grace;

and by the power of the Holy Spirit, may streams of sacrificial love come flowing out of us to this thirsty world. In Jesus Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Happy Resurrection Day, a journey into a new creation of love and grace.

Rev’d Kevin R. Highfield


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