Many believe when we celebrate Resurrection Sunday and celebrate the Good News, the Christian year is over. The truth is that this is only the beginning of the work. After the wonderful church services, after great dinners, after all the Easter Egg Hunts, after the families have all gone to their respective homes, God’s work still has to be done.
The real work is to bring all God’s children together. As Jesus said in one of His final instructions, captured in John 13:34, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” Where is Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Beloved Community?”
We recognize Human Relations Sunday, One Great Hour of Sharing Sunday, Native American Sunday, and the list goes on and on. But just as the list of “recognition” days grows, we continue to live with “life and death” conflicts around the world, in our Nation, and in our community. Just in the last few months, the loss of life in California, France, and Belgium has shaken the world. In Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, and the skirmishes that are occurring throughout the continent of Africa, point to a continued failure to bring God’s children together. In our Nation, issues such as Immigration, Gun Violence, Sexism, Ageism, and Gay Marriage continue to strike hard at the core of our society and our Church. And, we are experiencing a presidential election season that has hit a new low in the annals of our democratic system.
Jesus’ “new commandment” requires that people of faith do more than come together in our comfortable churches and communities. In 2016, we need to remember that Sunday morning still is the most segregated period of the week. People are trying, but it is not enough to write a check or pack clothes to be taken to some community on the other side of town. Like Jesus, people of faith have to put “some skin in the game”, and ask the questions. What are we going to do differently, after Resurrection Sunday? What are we going to do differently next week? What are we going to say when we come back to next year’s Resurrection Sunday? Will we have touched the life of a child? Will we have helped educate a person? Will we have fed the hungry? Will we have clothed the naked? Will we have helped someone in jail? Will we have helped a 7 year old, or a 70 year old… understand who God is?