Living the Resurrection
The Easter events now lie behind us, and we have entered into that interesting space in our Church Year where we focus on what it means to live the Resurrection Life. The challenge is to translate what we are reading in the Scriptures into the complexity of 21st century life, into the context of our daily lives and the communities in which we live, work and play. Increasingly we live in a global village, and yet there is a uniqueness to our Southern African environment that asks us to acknowledge and celebrate what is special about our context. We are challenged in the midst of brokenness and poverty, in the midst of corruption and hopelessness, to be signs of Hope, living signs of Hope. It is about transformed attitudes, life-giving actions, and God-touched lives.
Over two-thousand years later, we forget the chaos that enveloped the community that had grown around Jesus during his ministry after the Resurrection. The news of Jesus’ resurrection has the women who find the empty tomb leaving in fear (Mark’s Gospel); Cleopas and his companion on the Emmaus road are clearly confused, even traumatised, by the events; the disciples are in a locked room, fearful of the Jewish authorities (John’s Gospel). Where are we? Where are you?
What are our expectations in this post-Easter period? What is our experience right now? What feelings churn in our hearts? What chaos envelops our lives? Are we fearful? What interests me is that the various stories in the book of Acts reveal the fearful, disorientated and confused disciples of the Gospel stories as now bold and brave. At some point, and relatively quickly, they found peace and courage that made them fearless in proclaiming the activities of God to the community in Jerusalem, and subsequently to Judea, Samaria and beyond. John’s Gospel has Jesus meeting with his disciples immediately after the Resurrection, breathing the Spirit on them, proclaiming peace among them. The disciples in Acts speak out, they heal, they confront: they are bold!
There is much in our world today, both within the life of the Church, and also out there in the world, that seeks to resist the Resurrection Life. We need to regularly review our consciences, and ensure that we can, in the words of 1 John 3:21b “… have confidence before God”. We may not always feel bold within ourselves; but as children of God, loved by God, trusted by God we can be fearless, bold and brave.
We had some good family time in Durban the second weekend after Easter. Our son, Nathan, and his Fiancé, Megan, are living there now and expecting their first child in a few weeks time. We were down for Megan’s “Baby Shower” and also to meet her family for the first time. Dawn flew in for the weekend from Cape Town (where she has been working again these last few weeks) and I drove down with our daughter, Cassie, and her girlfriend, Jen. It was a really special weekend, and wonderful at last to link up with the McCain family. I spent the Monday night with good friends at Spioenkop Dam and came home over the rough dirt track of Colling’s Pass (why take the tar over van Reenen’s when one drives the best 4x4xFar?!).
St Alban’s Cathedral
Please continue to keep the situation at the Cathedral in prayer as it is not yet resolved. I had a rough visit there last Sunday. There are processes in place and the Diocesan leadership continues to seek opportunities for resolution.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the very generous Easter Offering I received again this year. Your care in this is much appreciated!