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Living As A People Saved And Free

Those of us who would read a column like this one have recently celebrated THE greatest event of our salvation (thus far, that is!).

We Christians commemorated the suffering and death of Jesus and his rising from the dead and we shared the meal that makes all that he did (and does) present for us. Many of us heard again of Jesus’ appearance on the first Easter night, when he said to his disciples-friends: “Peace,” “be forgiven and (you) forgive,” and “receive the Holy Spirit” that makes us a new creation.  In our gatherings for The Great Days (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday), as in every gathering, we proclaimed again:  Amen, to all you’ve done, Jesus.  And Lord, come again.

This year, at the same time, our forebears in faith celebrated Passover.  Around tables at home/ temple/synagogue) they recalled the great act of being saved through the waters of the Red sea and set free from slavery in Egypt to be God’s holy people.   They ended their prayed together with the fervent hope “next year in Jerusalem!”

Having celebrated these great events of salvation, we are now about the business of living in ever new ways the life of God’s people who have been saved and set free.   In a sort of summary way, permit me to begin a list of what this “business of living anew” looks like. (Feel free to add to it.) But note well,  “gentle readers,” there’s nothing passive about it.

A people saved and freed do the work of justice, of repairing the world, and of reconciling all that is divided.

We strive to live in peace and we ask God always and everywhere to “make us an instrument (or channel) of Your peace” (using the words of Francis of Assisi).

We deliberately witness to the unity that is both God’s will and gift to us and we seek to deepen that unity by praying for it and working for greater understanding and respect of each other.

We value and make better the world whose care God has entrusted to us.  We cultivate seeds of goodness in it, and we share in God’s delight Who looked at all that was done and said, “This is good”.

And lastly, we look longingly for that glorious day when THE FULLNESS of salvation will be ours…..when we will be fully one with God and God will be all in all.

After all, a people who are saved and free know that what’s to come will be even grander than what has been.   For such is how our God works…and always has! -Joe Lehman

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