Saturday, March 22, 2008

Enter the tomb

Easter Day . For a selection of readings see here Isaiah 25:6-9;Acts 10:34-43;Psalm 118:1-2,14-24; 1 Cor 15:1-11; John 20:1-18; Mark 16:1-8

Easter is not about avoiding death
It is about choosing to not be defeated by it
Today, as every Easter Day, we are given the opportunity
to reaffirm our Christian commitment.
We are asked:
Do you turn to Christ? and we will gladly reply
I turn to Christ.
We are asked also three questions
about what we will do
to put this into practice
Do you repent of your sins?
We choose to admit our past failing
and today, on this day of new beginning,
Easter Day
we promise to live our life differently.

Do you reject selfish living?

When we reject selfishness
we must find ways to be kind, to be generous, to share
We cannot combat selfishness and not share.

Finally we are asked a serious question
Do you reject evil?
We might ask ourselves: but what is evil?
And it is not an easy question.
But it revolves around the way we view other people.
Each one of us is made in the image of God,
and therefore we should treat all other people
with equal dignity and respect,
but do we do that?
When we see people as commodities rather than individuals,
when we think only of people as sexual objects
when we see anyone as disposable
we are assenting to evil in the profoundest way.

When we are silent, when we should speak out,
or when we trivialise the lives of others
and say that they, their problems, their aspirations
are not worthwhile
we diminish ourselves, and each other.

This is serious stuff
But it is a choice we make
When we ask ourselves 
What is it that makes Christian experience of death
Of sin, of selfishness and of  evil 
Different from that of others
It is that we choose to enter the tomb.

We do not escape death, pain or sin.
Rather we believe that those things ]
Are not the last word
And we choose to live our life differently.

It is as we choose
As we exercise our freedom
As we decide
To follow Christ
To repent
To reject selfishness
And to renounce evil

 This is not passive
We do nto stand pn the edge of the death experience
And peer in.
Each of us who has grieved
Knows that the mystery of death
Is that it is as we get into it
That we discover
That we pass through it
And are transformed.

The little deaths, 
Sin, selfishness and evil
All have the same dynamic.
We are not to sit passively  by and do nothing
But we decide to reject them as a way of life
This is not always easy
We often get it wrong
We sometimes fail
That, in a way, doesn’t matter
It is not as we get it right that matters so much
As that we choose to live free from sin, selfishness and evil
We go into the tomb
We do not seek to avoid the death
And we discover that we are set free.

This is a key mystery of life
It is the invitation of Easter.
Choose life, not death

But choose it knowing that it is not an easy way
It requires us to struggle with sin, selfishness and evil.
But it is the only way that is worthwhile.

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