The Spring 2020 edition of the Methodist Church's magazine is now available.
Editor David Perry writes:
Sacrifice is a word that doesn’t have much traction nowadays. In a ‘me-first’ culture, at first glance being sacrificial can seem to run counter to the flow, and look like a rather odd and baffling outlier. For instance, it’s so much easier to enjoy Easter eggs in a ‘meaning- lite’ way than it is to dwell upon the weighty sacrificial significance of the Cross on Good Friday. Yet both for individuals and nation states, the climate emergency and coronavirus are challenging the luxury of such a selfish outlook.
For all the indications to the contrary, being sacrificial seems hard-wired into human nature. Sacrificial moments of ‘letting go’ are often when we see ourselves at our best. It’s when the generosity and courage of ordinary people shine like beacons of hope. The Bible affirms that we are made in the image of God, and the God of sacrificial self-giving love calls us to live from the heart of this truth. It is to this insight that Jesus leads us so determinedly through Holy Week.
I’d like to make an analogy inspired by the resurgence of analogue film among younger generations of photographers: the pathway to Good Friday is the film upon which the wonderful drama of Easter Day is exposed. The two are inseparable. Indeed Jesus makes a point of telling would-be disciples to load up with this very film if they are to capture and inhabit the meaning and purpose of his ministry. Nothing else will do. It’s the only option he offers. He tells his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
Letting go into God’s self-giving love is to let go of all that inhibits us from experiencing new life in Jesus. When he says “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25), he means it. Letting go allows this new life to be, and for the image of Easter to become gloriously apparent. Through sacrificial love, Our Calling is to be a Church and a people of resurrection and life in a Good Friday world.
Published at 13:36 on 2 April 2020