This week’s Border Watch article includes thoughts about the end of daylight saving and how meeting the resurrected Jesus manifests an everyday lifestyle of reconciliation and forgiveness.
The editor picked up on the association between resurrection and reconciliation in the paper’s title for the piece, which was nice.
So, last Sunday was my favourite day of the year for two reasons (in no particular order): daylight saving ended; and Christians celebrated the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
I really don’t enjoy daylight saving and am happy we can spend the next six months in normal time. Or what passes for normal time until our overlords in Adelaide decree we move our clocks forward or back by thirty minutes on a full-time basis. Moving our clocks forward or back (or back and forward, I can never remember which) is a temporary feature of life. Just wait six months and time will change again.
But for Christians the celebration of the resurrection is not confined to one day each year. Or one day each week. Or six months on and six months off. Encountering the risen Lord Jesus impacts every day of all our lives.
A very important way in which that impact shows is in the matter of reconciliation. Jesus demonstrates his power over death, but he then goes straight to the people who deserted him and let him down. He makes special mention of Peter who denied him three times. He comes to Thomas in spite of his doubts.
Think about it. Having been resurrected, Jesus could have gone off and found himself a new group of friends and left his old ones languishing. Surely you or I are tempted to do that to those who hurt us and let us down. But, instead, Jesus reveals himself to them, and to pretty much them alone. This act of revelation is a profound work of forgiveness and restoration.
The experience of this forgiveness and restoration is transformative. It is one of the reasons why the disciples came to understand that God is love. The risen Lord Jesus embraces those who fail and fall, not on the basis of their capacity to do better, but on the basis of that which he’d already done – overcome the grave.
Resurrection life is not a part-time affair; six months on, six months off. Nor is it marked by one day or one weekend of observances. It is an everyday, all of life reality, which, in the first instance, is marked by grace and love.
This is not an appeal to sentiment, a therapeutic motivation that tells us that forgiving others and loving them will make us feel better, or have various beneficial outcomes.
Rather it is the objective response to meeting the risen Lord Jesus. When he meets you, there is no other way to behave toward others than to be a loving reconciler. This is the resurrection life.
There are times and situations where Christians don’t live out this new life. Where past grievances and hurts take root and flourish. That’s why I love Easter Sunday, where we recall that the risen Jesus continues to meet us with forgiveness, acceptance and love; and then bids us live out this new reality in our lives for every day that follows.