One of the most misleading sayings in some Christian quarters is that Jesus was born to die. Indeed, so concerned are some to talk about Jesus’ death that they would really like us to put a cross in the nativity scene! Now, of course, the meaning Christians find in the death of Jesus is certainly very important. That is part of why the Easter story is central to Christian Faith. Yet even Good Friday is not ultimately about death. For, as the Bible Society’s lively 2009 campaign expressed it, Jesus. All About Life is the true reality. As Jesus says in John’s Gospel (10.10): ‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’. Death is a part of life and life involves a series of little deaths (losses and griefs) as well as physical death. So Jesus showed us how dying well can be done. Yet this was in service of life, which is the real purpose and invitation of God’s creation of us. For God wants us to live! Christmas, the feast of the birth of Jesus, is therefore not merely a beginning and prelude to Easter. It also witnesses powerfully, in its own right, to the heart of the Christian message. In God in Jesus Christ, we find our fullest life, which is eternal love, right here, right now, and for evermore...
A few weeks ago a small group of Christian friends shared a prayer vigil to pray for humanity in Australia's handling of asylum seekers. Taking place in the Federal Minister, Scott Morrison's office they were arrested, but yesterday the case was dismissed. What a beautiful way to approach Palm Sunday! Like Jesus' humble protest on the first Palm Sunday against the power and oppression of his own day, we are recalled to the power of nonviolent love. Of course, the policies remain in place, but there is another notch in the transforming of our consciousness as well as political and media publicity. May the Spirit continue to move in all kinds of ways to change our outlooks and actions. Jarod McKenna puts it well in how 'Easter Made Me Do It'.
Jo Inkpin an Anglican priest, trans woman, theologian and justice activist. These are some of my reflections on life, spirit, and the search for peace, justice and sustainable creation.