Image from firstchatham.org
One week after Easter celebrations in the western church is a good time to ask: what happens now?
Part of what we celebrated for Easter was Jesus' experience of overcoming betrayal, intense physical and emotional pain, abandonment, and death. Having done all of this, he did not leave behind those who abandoned and left him (almost) alone to die. The amazing and wonderful thing he did was this: he returned to them, welcomed them back into friendship, showed them his victory over all of the negativity, and then commissioned them to give out his message of life.
The life Jesus is offering us is not simply an "extended" or forever life. As spiritual beings made in the image of God, we will live somewhere forever. What's to be determined is where and how we will live and what we will do with this "forever" life.
When Jesus says he came that we will have life, and have it to the fullest, Jesus is offering us the very life of God---something we cannot obtain on our own. We may be able to create a feeling or experience that resembles what we think is the life of God, but only God can give us the life of God.
The life of God enables us to express, or demonstrate, or show and share,the qualities, perspective, and temperament of God on a daily and consistent basis.
Like the disciples who changed the world after they encountered and "re-met" the resurrected Jesus, we have the ability--if we choose--to change our worlds. We may or may not change the trends of world history, but we can change our life histories and the life histories of the people God leads us to and to the people we encounter. Beyond doubt, if we consistently witness (demonstrate what we know and have experienced, not just what someone said or told us) about the goodness and love of God, we will change someone's world for the better. That change may be large or small, but it will have an eternal impact.
The message of Easter is we can move beyond pain, betrayal, and losses of all kinds. In doing so, you will lose much of the fear and hesitation that have held you back.
The next time someone challenges you to "live without limits", remember the message of Easter: with the life of God living in you and ruling and guiding you, life without limits is yours.
paravanes:meditations (c) deborah evans