Live Out the Resurrection for Others – Transformation, Hope and New Life for All
Archbishop Michael Jackson presided at the Easter Day Festal Eucharist at Christ Church Cathedral this morning. Focusing on the Resurrection in his sermon, the Archbishop spoke of the importance of living out the hope and transformation of the Resurrection for others rather than talking about resurrection to one another.
“Resurrection is about transformation here and now; resurrection is about new life for all here and now. And it is such because of the cosmic impact of the coming together of God the creator and the creation of God’s loving it, in and through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Religious truths are difficult, arresting, irritating, confrontational,” he said.
Archbishop Jackson continued: “It is for these reasons that I raise the question: What would it be like if we believed it really were true? The first thing I suggest is that churches would have a much more pro–active executive grasp of the relationship between justice and mercy. This would lift churches out of the loss adjustor mentality around human relationships and human sexuality. It would also enable individuals inside the churches and outside the churches to see that resurrection is a response to humanity and its dilemmas where faith on the part of some members of society releases the energies of flourishing for everyone irrespective of their belief and value system”.
He also suggested that the relationship between hope and humanity would be highlighted. He said the invitation to hopelessness in today’s media driven world was almost an unstoppable force – fear followed terror and hopelessness followed both.
“And yet there are sufficient pointers to human magnificence, human victoriousness right across the world, in the most squalid of circumstances, to tell us that there is justice in the midst of corruption, there is compassion in the midst of exploitation, there is light in the midst of darkness – everywhere. The challenge is for us to seize it and to honour it and to share it – whatever its source – and to learn from it and to be taught by it,” he said. He added that hope could not be suppressed by the church at its most scandalous and uncaring.
As the 500th anniversary of the Reformation is celebrated this year, the Archbishop asked if it was time for the churches in Ireland, north and south, to put their traditions at the service of the greater good by reforming together for the future.
“As churches, chastened by recent events and deadly cruelties, we now need to be invited by our society to do this, rather than it being our own assumption that we can convene the meeting. It would be a very exciting type of reformation. Justice and mercy, hope and humanity are not confined to Christianity. On Easter Day, nonetheless, they should feature in our recognitions and in our relationships. They should inspire the hope in things unseen. It is to this that we are called forward at Easter. Hallelujah!”