God's Dream for Chalice and our World
What does it mean that Jesus rose from death? We hear the story every Easter Sunday but its life-altering impact can be lost amid its familiarity. How does this event affect us and our world? For starters, we grieve the loss of the ones we love but as we're reminded, "you will weep and mourn for a time, but then your grief will be turned to joy". We live with the unshakable conviction we'll be reunited with them. Death is not final. Christ and all with him live forever. Shocking but true, once we heal and surrender our beloved ones to his greater life.
David Brooks, the eminent New York Times columnist, previewing a forthcoming book, observes that most people construct two mountains with their lives. The first mountain is their striving to prove themselves with worldly successes and a related lifestyle.The second occurs when there is some disruption to their life plan-a loss, or failure, or a catastrophic upheaval, serving as the catalyst for soul-searching, and new insights. Out of these losses, good happens. and hope is enabled.These personal discoveries quite often involve the realization that for all their striving, happiness, contentment and fulfillment has eluded them.
How can Jesus' death and his presence alive is us, change that? Our emptiness can make room for others, if we really believe no one is less than anyone else, and we all belong to each other. Our previous pursuits, once deemed so important, now seem trivial and pale compared to the weight of our sisters' and brothers' burdens. This Easter miracle of Jesus raised from death's power can cause us to live differently.
But we don't need a miracle to find more life in God, and give more life to others, by making the Resurrected Christ real and believable in us. We need only imitate his fearlessness connecting with others He never worried about taking the right stand; he was more concerned with standing in the right place for others, especially those sidelined on the margins-the poor, powerless, voiceless, and the unseen among us, outside the circle of belonging, distant from the embrace of others.
What if we ceased to pledge allegiance to the bottom line, and all the world stood instead with those who line the bottom? God's dream for our world would be realized in the living and visible Jesus. The barriers that exclude would be dismantled. We would more resemble who God is and our Chalice children, sisters and brothers, and the rest of humanity's impoverished, would be one with us. We would connect with them not to make a difference or reach them, but to allow them to change us, in communion and community, giving ourselves away in commitment and unconditional love, and find genuine joy, abundant and overflowing.
We would be standing in a place of privileged encounter, witnessing the power of boundless compassion that creates a community of equals, where no one is less than another or left behind, and God and his Son, conqueror of death and despair, and champion of the poor, become real right before our eyes.
What is all this if not the radiance of the Risen Lord in the divine sunshine of his love, goodness, and embrace of all humanity inviting us to this life in him? Today and everyday may we heed our Redeemer, back from death, and find true, real and lasting life in him-for our Chalice children and families, for ourselves us, for our world.
A blessed and joyous Easter celebration of endless hope and eternal love in the Victorious Son is wished for you and all you love.
On this joyful and glorious day, we thank you for the power of the Risen Christ's goodness alive in your hearts in your love and commitment to our Chalice children and families we are privileged to serve.