Sometimes a “fear based” theology works.
And sometimes it doesn’t.
In the 1940s – 2000s a predominant theme in American religious culture was “fire insurance.”
People weren’t taught to question and explore scripture but instead trust it wholly as the inerrant, infallible word of God. Therefore, if the Bible said it, we should believe it.
And, if you believe it, then you are “saved from hell” and receive everlasting life.
AND . . . you BETTER believe it . . . because hell is really bad.
Religious culture in America spent more time scaring people into believing in Jesus instead of sharing Jesus’ radical, transformational love with all people.
Over time as culture and society has changed and we now live in a post-Christendom era, that doesn’t hold weight anymore.
People process and think about things from many angles and perspectives.
Especially the crucifixion and resurrection.
Those life-changing, redefining events change everything! And there are so many more things we can learn from them than just holding on to them as “Fire Insurance.”
“The final step on the way to holiness in Christ is then to completely abandon ourselves with confident joy to the apparent madness of the cross. . . . It is a twisting, a letting go, an act of total abandonment. But it is also a final break-through into joy.” Thomas Merton
What if we look at the cross as a way to completely abandon ourselves and surrender, just as Jesus did, ourselves to the resurrecting power of God?
Perhaps if we do that, if we view the cross as a way to transform ourselves, we can find that we can affirmingly answer the following questions.
What if our pain and loneliness gives way to healing and wholeness?
What if we quit focusing on what ourselves needs and instead learn to look at what ourselves can offer others in love, forgiveness, and grace?
What if we work towards having no pride and ego but instead offer non-judgment and humility?
Lastly, what if we willingly surrender our power and instead find ourselves embracing others and seeking peace?
God redeems all people and all things. Jesus’ resurrection is the beginning of the new life, the new created order.
We are called to live into that order.
“Easter” comes from the Latin meaning “Spring.”
What if this Easter we embrace a new created order? What if we truly live into Spring?
1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
4 Yet their voice[b] goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6 It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.