Views from the Pews: Greatest gift we can give is love

St. Hilda's scene setter.

St. Hilda's scene setter.

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Are you looking forward to Easter? What are you looking forward to most?

Is it the celebration lunch? Is it time with family or friends? They are all good things, but don’t fully express the meaning of Easter.

We give chocolate gifts at Easter in celebration of the resurrection. Easter is about a new life granted to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

In the Christian church every Sunday we celebrate the feast of the resurrection. That means every week we start a new life in Christ in memory of His resurrection.

We are part of the resurrection because we were granted eternal life at the point of Jesus’ resurrection, not at our death. Eternal life began with Jesus who we celebrate as Lord and Saviour.

It would take a great theologian many years of study and reflection to do the resurrection questions justice. The best commentary on the resurrection I’ve ever read came from my favourite theologian, Henri JM Nouwen.

In his book ‘Our Greatest Gift’, he wrote: “The resurrection does not solve our problems about dying and death. It is not the happy ending to our life’s struggle, nor is it the big surprise that God has kept in store for us. No, the resurrection is the expression of God’s faithfulness to Jesus and to all God’s children.

“Through the resurrection, God has said to Jesus: ‘You are indeed my beloved Son, and my love is everlasting,’ and to us God has said: ‘You indeed are my beloved children, and my love is everlasting...

“The resurrection doesn’t answer any of our curious questions about life after death, such as, How will it be? How will it look? But it does reveal to us that, indeed, love is stronger than death.”

In other words the resurrection, and eternal life, is purely about love. It is a gift of grace given by God, not because we are deserving or because we’ve earned it by our faithfulness, but simply because we are God’s beloved children.

There are no conditions attached to God’s love. It is unconditional.

When we celebrate this Easter let’s not deliberate on the difficult questions of life, death, and resurrection, let’s instead rejoice in the gift of love granted to all Gods’ children for all eternity.