EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE I come across something that especially fills my soul with resurrection hope, with a sense that what Jesus and millions of others have most longed for in this world, that humankind may know themselves one with God and with one another, might some glad day be brought to fruition among us.
I’ve recently found just such a hope in a report of an address about Ecumenism, by Canon Mike Lowe, to Cheadle Deanery Synod (of all things!). One of the most important questions asked at that meeting, I think, was “Is Interfaith the new ecumenism?”. (“Interfaith” here meaning engagement and discussion between people of different world faiths). And it’s such an important question, I believe, because it’s only when we ARE willing to enter into respectful relationship with every child, woman and man upon earth that the teaching, the prayers and the hopes of Jesus Christ—the “Anointed” exemplar to many of us, will be brought to fruition.
Jesus didn’t ask us to fall out with other religious communities, or with anyone. Jesus called us to learn truly to love God and to love one another; he pointed to the presence of God in LIFE, in communities other than his own, in outcasts, lepers, sinners and the plain irreligious alike; he pointed to God in the lilies of the field, the birds of the air and the fish of the sea. Of course there were those, then, who were so passionately opposed to “interfaith” that Jesus wound up being executed, and that was thought to be the end of him. But not for long!
And so it seems right, as we celebrate God’s resurrection LIFE, to go on hoping that people all over the world will continue trying to engage with and to learn from our different selves. God, in human form, dearly hoped that we would. That same LIFE still lives, still hopes, still creates, deep in the being of every human person on earth.
There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.
That will be the beginning of a new heaven and a new earth. No more dividing seas. Men, women, children and nations as they were meant to be. Resurrection. No longer just “me”. Now gladly “we”. O Happy Potential. Happy Pillar of Light. Happy New LIFE. Happy Easter!