I love Easter time as it is such a good time to reflect. What a wonderfully ‘crazy’ message we have. The glory of God revealed in death… the end of an era, the answering to the confusions (that are present) within Scripture about violence, war and the like; the beginning of a new era and a whole new paradigm. No longer can life be defined by ‘being alive’ but by becoming a ‘life-giver’.
The current shut-downs offer such an opportunity. The sin of Israel of losing sight of the reason for her existence can so easily creep up on us. Easter puts down a marker that the way of life is to lay down one’s life for the sake of others. It is the denial of ‘me / church / *** first’.
I understand the shift of services to online, but Easter means we cannot make personal survival as the personal goal. It is very hard to make a ‘*** first’ and genuinely let let flow out to others. Once we declare ‘first’, words such as ‘second’, ‘third’ become all-but meaningless. Thanks be to heaven that Jesus did not enter Jerusalem with a ‘Jesus first’ approach, other than a ‘Jesus first to the cross on behalf of others’.
In the forced shifts I suggest so many aspects can be re-assessed. A reconnection with body of Christ (and in the light of Easter what an incredible analogy) as royal priesthood. If we are going to see the dehumanising (and therefore the work of demons) nationalistic ethno-centric voice of ‘*** first’, this reset gives us all a major opportunity to partner with the end of an era and the beginning of a new one.
Footnote: I use ‘*** first’ simply because we can miss it if we narrow down and name it with replacing the name of a country. Always easy to narrow things down so as we are excluded – life is never (thankfully) that easy.