Hi everyone. Rob here.
I’m writing this on Easter Saturday. It’s the in-between day. The day of waiting. It sits between death and life; despair and hope; the past and the future; the old and the new; darkness and dawn. Waiting is spiritual. It’s an invitation to sit with the unknown, with possibilities, with hopes and dreams. The old has gone, the new is yet to be revealed, and so we wait. We are not waiting for the old to return. We are waiting for the power of resurrection to make all things new.
We’ve been in lockdown for two weeks and there’s at least two weeks to go. Globally there has been a lot of bad news but mustard seeds of good news too. What is clear is that how things used to be will be no more. The old has gone. It has died. How we work, how we travel, how we shop, how we relate to each other, how we worship has all changed. The age of endless consumption has passed. We don’t know what will replace it. To find out we have to wait.
Waiting isn’t passive. It’s participatory. We participate in putting the old to death and in coming alive to the new. This is true for the kingdom come and for a post-lockdown world. Jesus invites us into the life of the Spirit now. He invites us to do God’s will on earth just as it is done in heaven, but first he invites us to die with him.
Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin’s every beck and call! (Romans 6:6, The Message)
Longing for the old way of life is not the way of God’s kingdom. Through Jesus the future has invaded the past and the present. We can only make sense of the past through the light of God’s kingdom that awaits us. We can only have future hope through the kingdom light that has come to us. Armed with a reconciled past and a hopeful future we can live out the way of the kingdom right now, in this moment.
Dare I say that now is the time to be putting our own participation in the age of endless consumption to death. The planet is groaning and as everyone holes up inside it’s letting out a loud exhale. It is breathing well again. Let’s commit to being partners in its renewal. The virus has also exposed rank injustice in our world. It’s one thing to be in lockdown in my comfortable home, in my quiet suburb with a park down the road and well-stocked supermarkets just a short drive away. It’s another to be dirt-poor in a crowded city with your meagre income instantly cut off as the virus takes hold. The poor suffer the most when illness takes hold and a recession hits. Let’s join in the awakening of our consciences and partner with new and creative ways to build a more just global economy. Sustainability needs to replace consumption; fairness needs to replace greed and the idea of enough needs to replace excess.
This is where the new life of the Spirit needs to intersect with our lives now. God is the source of the new. His kingdom is filled with endless resources and possibilities. We will need his compassion, his perseverance, his love to overcome a lifetime of the old and embrace a new way. Right now it’s a crisis and the world needs our prayers and the suffering need our love. As we practice love and compassion right now we are preparing ourselves for tomorrow.
We wait with hope. We wait with love. We wait with patience, grace and purpose. After all it may be Saturday but Sunday’s coming.