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    Noticings…

    April 24, 2019

    The juxtaposition was just too much. I saw the news headlines when I woke up early to attend our Easter Sunrise service. The horror of the bombings in Sri Lanka registered, but only on a low level. I had jobs to do. I had services to lead. I had resurrection to preach! It was supposed to be Easter Sunday. Why were we propelled back to Good Friday? Why was my news feed filled with images of death when it was supposed to be filled with images of new life? It didn’t compute. It couldn’t compute.

    Now, in the days after, I’m reading the reports, every one adding to the death toll (now at 359), and I’m looking at the images, and I’m struck by one image that won’t let go. It’s a statue of Jesus from within one of the bombed churches, next to a wall, and both the statue and the wall are obviously spattered with blood. It’s horrific. It’s too real. And I’m honestly not exactly sure how to process it.

    A sane, moral person cannot fathom such a heinous disregard for life. In recent weeks we’ve seen this inexplicable form of evil perpetrated on Muslims and Christians, in worship, at prayer. Within the past year or so people of other faiths were also victims of such violence. Bad theology is not the culprit; deeply damaged humans are. So what can we do? How can we respond?

    Easter offers us a way forward. The message that resounds for me from Easter this year is Jesus saying, “Do as I have done. Love as I have loved.” He laid down a pattern for us. His pattern was to love, regardless. Love no matter what it costs. Love, even if it means sacrificing things; like your preferences, or your comfort zone, or your resources, or higher taxes, or your relationships. Love above all. And know that it will not be easy, and it will not be a quick fix, and it will at times hurt, and it may well lead to a cross. (If you think this Christian stuff is easy you are sadly mistaken!)

    What will such love accomplish? It will change your life and the lives of those you engage. One relationship at a time. That’s how we got from a room full of shell-shocked, despondent disciples to a society that celebrates universal education, healthcare, and equal rights (although, we still have far to go). Through spiritual resurrection those disciples remembered to “Do as I have done. Love as I have loved.” And it changed the world. Our lives here in Canada are living proof of what love can bring about, when shared.

    Our response to hatred and terrorism is simply this: do as Jesus did. Thoughts and prayers are a good place to start. Then pray for resurrection – to let go of our complacency and embrace loving at all costs, regardless. That’s how Easter becomes real.


    Songs For Sunday Night

    Here’s a way to make your Sunday Night Worship experience even better! Here’s a link to the songs we’ll be singing this week. Now you can listen to the songs before you come and enter into worship more fully! And if you can’t make it Sunday you can just click and listen for your own worship time. Sunday Nights at 7:15pm. (Bring a friend!)
    Shalom,
    Larry
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