The substance of a covenant of Love which cannot be broken (Fr John)

Alleluia Christ is Risen!

He is Risen indeed, Alleluia!

When I was younger, I recall when we wanted to challenge the unfair cuts we were experiencing in Education or fight for better investment in the village school which seemed to be an easy target in the 1980’s austerity drive:  we would travel to the Council building in the City and protest. We would stand outside with our placards, and not only would we chant, “What do we want, a new school, when do we want it: now!” (I was always very good at that…).

But someone would start singing, “We shall not, we shall not be moved”. That, we sang until our presence and protest was taken notice of, until our voice had been heard, (or in my case, until tea was on the table and I was expected home).

This past week and today is God’s protest against injustice, against unfairness, against the scarcity of love being practiced in creation.  This past week, God stood his ground and the placard in his hand, upon it was written the word “Love”. It was there at the Last Supper, and taken also into the Council Chamber, The Praetorium. He held in his hand that placard as he received the beating, and at the hammering in of the nails upon his body as he was about to be lifted high and enthroned upon the Cross of Glory, the placard above him still read “love”.  And to those who remained with him, he must have been heard to be singing from that Cross just before he died, “We shall not, we shall not be moved…”

In Holy Week, and on Easter Day which is this day, God would not be moved from where God wanted to be.  God would not allow God’s self to be shifted around or played by religious or secular powers.  God chose these days to protest against the injustice in this world and in the world to come: God chose to dig his heals in and to fight for his creation.

For in this world there was a deficit of love and understanding, propagated by the religious and social order, between neighbour and communities which diminished and devalued creation.

And in the world to come there was loss, where we could have been cut off from God’s love and this riled him:  and so he said, “What do we want, my people, when do we want them: now!”

Easter Day is the culmination of God’s protest on what the world had become and early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark when Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb there was shock.  But later, supposing a man to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni!’ (which means Teacher).

If these last days have been God’s Almighty protest.  The teacher must still have a need to teach. Because the teacher could not be removed, nor silenced by the grave. The scarcity of love between neighbour and communities we have seen change a little this year.  But it takes a Pandemic or Crucifixion to highlight this for us. Why?

Even early on that Easter Day, the placard Jesus carries as he shows himself to his friends says “Love” demonstrated by his risen presence with them.  The protest is over, God has made his love known and the battle is won.

God’s hope is that we allow ourselves to learn and change through his teaching to love and not abandon one another.  For this is what we receive on this Easter Day, the substance of a covenant of Love which cannot be broken.

So, let us commit ourselves to loving God’s creation in response to Easter: Animal, vegetable, mineral and aquatic and be sure that we, as God’s people join God in the protest against the injustice, the unkindness and destruction of our world with placards in hand which read “love” all the while singing “we shall not, we shall not be moved” because:

Alleluia Christ is Risen!

He is Risen indeed, Alleluia!

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