Saturday, April 23, 2011
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:1-6
In our small town there is an Easter Egg Hunt the day before Easter. Generations of families gather to watch the children chase down eggs. They litter the circle with dyed eggs and make sure there are prizes a plenty and candy for kids of every age. No one can walk away a failure. I witnessed many kids sharing there abundance with other children, even sharing prize eggs and filling another child's basket. My niece pointed out a prize egg to a little boy standing next to her as they waiting to start, making strategical plans with a three year old ahead of time. There was a mood of sharing, a culture of caring for all the children and time for reconnecting with old friends as we encouraged the children. It wasn't a fashion show nor a competition. So rare in our world, a safe place where people are free to be themselves and no one is judged, excluded or condemned for lack of style, money or physical prowess.
The letter to the Romans spells out clearly for us -there is therefore now no condemnation -with strong precise emphasis that we are not judged but loved by God. Our one requirement is to be in relationship with God, and God's activity through Christ's sacrifice is to renew us and make us whole in the spirit. We are not the idiotic failures we judge ourselves to be, but loved beyond measure, tenderly care for and desired by God. God sacrificed the one so that we may all know of the depth and constancy of that love. Our human world is constantly judging and finding us lacking, but God knows us completely and calls us whole and wonderful.
Today as we await the feast of the Resurrection - Easter - may we open our hearts to God's love in our lives, washing over us like warm gentle streams of healing waters. We can all be agents of God's love and compassion as we live out and model God's spirit of acceptance and welcome, the deep rich hospitality from the heart of our Creator.