An Easter Message for BRMC, 2019
PublishedÂ inÂ theÂ ChurchÂ Gazette,Â AprilÂ 2019
Christ brought us together through his death on the cross. The
Cross got us to embrace, and that was the end of the hostility. Christ came and
preached peace to you outsiders and peace to us insiders. He treated us as
equals, and so made us equals. Through him we both share the same Spirit and
have equal access to the Father.
Thatâ€™s plain enough, isnâ€™t it? Youâ€™re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. Youâ€™re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. Heâ€™s using us allâ€”irrespective of how we got hereâ€”in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now heâ€™s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after dayâ€”a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.
Ephesians 2:16-22, The Message
with Christians across the world, the events of Holy Week will shape and
inhabit our worship and whole lives. As Ephesians 2 puts in, it is through
Christ, who was led to the cross, that we are brought together, reconciled to
each other and to God, made equal and find a home in Godâ€™s kingdom community.
It is here we can truly belong. I hope and pray, that in whatever way you are a
part of BRMC, you each can feel you belong as part of Godâ€™s community.
passage goes on. In being reconciled through Christ we are invited to
participate in the very life of God. The home God is building, Godâ€™s kingdom
community, is not merely built by God as our landlord for us to reside in as
sitting tenants. No. As we are reconciled, as we find belonging, God invites us
to participate in equal measure, as partners in the kingdom community. So God
invites us to participate, brick by brick, individual by individual, all
uniquely gifted by God, to be the holy temple, the church, the body of Christ,
who God is shaping us to be.
Since I joined
the ministry here at BRMC in September, youâ€™ve often heard me asking that very
question (or a derivative of it!) â€“ who is God shaping us to be? The passage
from Ephesians reminds us that God is the builder, and it is God who will aid
us in answering that very question.
And God has
already been doing so. In our conversations about vision for the future weâ€™re
reflecting, as a community, on where God has led us and leads us, and I thank
all who have contributed to the discussions so far. Weâ€™ll include some
opportunity to share where this exercise has lead us, and what the next steps
are, during our General Church Meeting on 28th April.
Yet, God is
already active among this community, seen and unseen, heard and unheard.
Shaping us, loving us, strengthening us, encouraging us, brick by brick,
whoever we are, wherever we are. The question about who God is shaping us to be
is as much a question of recognising more tangibly where God is already active
among our community as it is about asking what else God may be calling us to
be. And I believe this starts with talking to each other about what God is
doing in us, among us and beyond us.
us back to Easter. Christ who suffered, died, and rose again. We are called to
be resurrection people, resurrection community. We believe and live out the
transformative gospel we proclaim in partnership with God. In the words of hymn
writer Brian Wren:
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â â€˜Christ is alive! Let Christians sing.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The cross stands empty to the sky.â€™
Singing the Faith 297, extract from v1
So let us sing
out – with our voices, actions and whole lives â€“ as we participate in the
transformative power of the gospel we know and experience ourselves, and wish
proclaim to the world. Offering radical hospitality, unconditional love &
In Christ who
lived, died and rose again. Hallelujah!