Wednesday, April 7, 2021

A very Happy Easter 2)

The second word is POWER.  Many people are confused about power and love. They say: 'If your God is so powerful why doesn’t he stop terrible things like this pandemic from happening'. It doesn't seem that you can have both.  But they are confusing force with power. God never forces his way into the lives of men and women.  One of the big mysteries about Easter is why God does not enforce this supreme moment of unrepeatable triumph for the world?. Nothing like this has happened before or since. Come on, Lord, go public.  Why doesn’t he enforce his victory?  

When I read Muhammed Ali’s autobiography (not because I’m into boxing but because I wanted to see what made him tick) he tells how he changed his name from Cassius Clay and told the world he was the greatest and would win against Sonny Liston to become Heavy Weight Champion of the World.  So many people were against him. People said they wanted his big mouth shut up for ever.  There was actual hatred.  And when he won in the 7th round, he says in his autobiography.

The press gather in front of me it’s hard to forget that nearly all of them considered me a hoax. They started to shoot question at me, but I cut them off: 'Hold it, Hold it', I say.  'You’ve all had your chance to say what you thought before the fight now its my turn.  Now I want all of you to tell the whole world while the cameras are on us. Tell the world that I’m the greatest. There’s a silence. Who’s the greatest/ I say again. They look up with solemn faces but the room is still silent. FOR THE LAST TIME I shout. All the eyes of the world are on us. You just a bunch of hypocrites I proved all of you wrong. I shook up the World. Tell me who is the Greatest'. They hesitate for a minute and final in a dull tone they answer 'YOU ARE'.   
 I copied that and marked it 'Easter' because on Easter Day Jesus truly is the Greatest!  He has shaken up the world, proved his critics wrong. So why doesn't he appear to Caiaphas and Annas who schemed his death in cold blood; confront Pilate and Herod and put them in their place; process again into Jerusalem but this time as a victory parade?  BECAUSE THIS IS NOT GOD''S WAY.  It never is.

Rather, God's way is to meet weeping Mary at the tomb and call her 'Mary'.Personal, individual. And two disciples along the road to Emmaus who don't recognize him until supper, and disciples in a closed room. He never forces himself on the world. That’s the wonder of his love drawing oiur faith.   And I love the beatitude he gives to Thomas.  Because you have seen me you believe; Blessed are those who has not seen yet have believed (John 20:29).  He does want the whole world to know that he has transformed our existence.  But he works by love and by faith. One-by-one. That makes it deeply personal.  Do I trust him as my Easter Lord? That’s the crunch point for all of us. 

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