To egg or not to egg.
Colours, paint, ham, chocolate, Passover, Easter, Good Friday, or Good Thursday, Three days in the grave or two, etc? Who is right. Compare and complain. Another chance for offences to abound.
At this time of year, we celebrate the death and subsequent life of Jesus Christ. Different groups commemorate the same thing in very differing ways. They cannot agree, and so, end up in divided camps. How can we disengage from the conflict, and celebrate the concept?
Today, I marvel again at the utter humility it took for Someone knowing Himself to be equal to God, who elected to become human, to voluntarily lay down His life. The model of love, and servant-hood He displayed boggles the understanding.
It occurs to me that He asked us to set a similar example.
How, I ponder, can we set such an example of humility and love towards our fellow humans. We have no earthly power over death and life, do we?
Central to the theme is an overarching word: Choice. . From beginning to the end, that theme of Choice is prevalent in the Bible.
Jesus chose to do what He did, elected to engage in a deathly conflict between good and evil. We know He won, and He did it for us. When we choose to believe and accept His gift, we move from death to life in Him. No human can offer that level of love , yet we can reflect it in our choices every day.
The book of Proverbs tells us the “death and life are in the power of the tongue”. (18:21)
James says we can alter the course of history by the power of our words. (Ch. 3)
In this one area, how can we choose to model the example of Christ’s life?
By realising He chose to ignore our wrongs, and redeem us back from certain, permanent death. We, likewise can speak truthful words that encourage, lift, build and not destroy. We can choose to redeem. By refraining from complaining, hurtful, gossiping, belittling words that tear down. We can literally change the course of someone’s day, even their life, by the words we choose to speak.
The world is full of offences, anger, negativity, distortions and lies. We don’t have to look far to see it, but we don’t have to duplicate it in our own community. We can disengage from pointless debate, and find ways to emulate the Love that is so much higher.
In such a simple way – yet very difficult at times – we can model our character to be more like Jesus’, by choosing words of life. We decide whether to stop the flow of anger, offense, revenge, complaint, negativity that pours effortlessly from our mouths. We become more mature and Christ-like, by exercising our power of Choice, to select instead words of light, and hope and gratitude .
He loved us when we didn’t deserve it. He became a servant and sacrificed all, in order to bring us into all the potential He has for us. It is not a cheap gift He offered. True, selfless Love is the world’s most costly, and most enduring gift. We cannot give what He gave, but we can honour His wishes, and choose to be a living reflection of His gift, by the words and actions we display.