Monday, 4 April 2016

Feeding upon the perpetual table

"And one day, you catch yourself wishing the person you had loved had never existed...
 To spare yourself the pain".

Bruce Wayne and Ra's Al Ghul - Batman Begins.

There was a nice reminder last week in the Wall Street Journal that Easter, unlike Christmas, is one of those Christian festivals that commercialism has never successfully swamped and entirely obscured. Sure, there's the whole Spring theme that gives a precedent for chocolate and cards , but even that often plays into those quite disturbing thoughts about how life itself is married to death, and before you know it, you're again hearing the echo of the one who was lifted to be extinguished by a violent execution, only to shock the world with His emptied tomb.

It's a stark and uncompromising truth that forces us to look upon certain absolute realities about ourselves and how God steps in to our arena to resolve those dread truths, and it has certainly left me with stacks to think about. Easter, when considered well, always does.

Here's a few to mull over.

So much of life is garbed in the two opposites of disguise and disclosure. Generally, we prefer to marshal ourselves behind the first of these two realms. It costs to genuinely open up and give of ourselves, so it's usually only those whom we truly love who get to see something of what's actually us, and that's often a revelation that can be hard to give and receive.

Christ is so very difficult for us to encounter because He brings all of what is us into a light that must bruise and break in order to mend and to heal - the remedy, as shown in His hanging at Golgotha, is as harsh as the malady.

Jesus talks about a day when all that is hidden is made plain, and the tragedy will be the darkness of severance, of alienation, that some have made their true identity. 
Woe to those, He says, who deem darkness (exclusion) to be light, for how great will that severance be (Matthew 6:23).

Total Love truly changes everything. It alone provides the 'table' at which we can sit and genuinely give of ourselves to each other, however frightening and painful some of that sharing may prove to be - we know, in our innermost selves, that we were made for such intimacy and connection.

Easter gives us the brightest truth regarding that love that our world has ever known.
Behind all the agony of our present alienation and poverty, there is a God who still loves us, and came into the midst of the chaos because such love will do all that is required to make us again those children who freely enjoyed the garden without the ruin we currently know.

Wars and hatred are, no doubt, within us, but reconciliation and peace is possible, and that is why Easter should mark our every day - love triumphs, like it never did in any other story or romance.

So, perhaps we need to think even more about God's disclosure of Himself in the person and  life events of Jesus Christ, difficult though that no doubt may be. It's the remedy that will truly do us good.