This Pascha we read our Patriarch’s encouragement to live as people of the Resurrection. So what does this mean? Do we know?
At Easter Liturgy we sing “We who have been baptized in Christ, have put on Christ”—literally—we wear Christ. Our Christian mission is to be Christ to the world.
We hear this and indeed we know this, but the actual lived meaning of this role simply defies any static description or prescription. We are called not to specific actions, but rather to profound being that demands a continuous consciousness of goodness and love.
Goodness (Godness!) and love can never be still or limited. Moreover, wearing Christ defies what we are generally taught to do and think in mainstream society.
Christ exhausted his followers by persistently transgressing rules of relationship: foreigners, women, children, outcasts, tax collectors … all were enfolded in his embrace.
He modeled an all-encompassing cloak of love and now we have committed to wearing it. Eeeeeek! This fashion is worn more easily at some times than others!
That is why we come to Church; that is why we ARE Church. Divine love shines through our individual beings so much more easily with the support and shared love of fellow Christians.
During liturgies we share our commitment to shine in the world. We pray for everything and everyone together. We listen to the Gospel and we share in the Eucharist that binds us as elements of one body of Christ.
But we don’t simply stop there. In the icon of the Trinity we see three individuals, separate but together at one table. Doing what? Eating of course! Nutrition, sustenance, is a fundamental human requirement that, when shared, transcends biological demands and carries comfort, joy, security, and well-being.
When, after Liturgy, we come down for coffee, we continue to grow as the body of Christ. We mirror the Trinitarian community that becomes recognizable in the presence of simple, human, hospitality.
In the beauty of taking time to have a coffee with our fellow parishioners, our shared pleasure has spread to others. The money we’ve left in the basket to cover the costs of refreshments has funded not only the coffee and cream, but also swings for an orphanage and materials for building a church in a war-torn area of Ukraine.
It is when we take part in this fellowship that the security of belonging blossoms into new ideas and new energy for renewing ourselves, our community, our neighbourhood, and truly, the world.