Phil Day’s cartoon above highlights the juxtaposition the church in many parts of the west is finding itself in relation to the broader western society.
I recently noticed one hotel in Brisbane advertising a family-friendly Easter, with Easter egg hunts, special menus, the whole nine yards.
While there are powerful commercial and ideological interests at play now in the Easter industry, the community that is called together from the story of the Passion of Jesus Christ will gather again, participate in the story, and find strength and hope to bear witness to a vision for humanity now becoming increasingly distinct from that which the dominant culture offers.
This powerful myth is explained in this way: God became human and stands in solidarity with us in our abandonment, and in that solidarity, God has demonstrated that this abandonment is not ultimate. Love wins.
This story has entered into the cultures of people across the globe and transformed them. One story of transformation I think encapsulates its impact is the story of Bluetooth, the Danish King.
The way I heard it was that Bluetooth’s father was to go to war with a neighbouring King. Bluetooth, inspired by his belief in the gospel, intervened, and brought peace between the two kingdoms. Hence the European inventors named the means by which two different electronic devices could connect, “Bluetooth”.
The story continues to shape and inspire a people across the world, in many cultures, to bear costly witness to solidarity and reconciliation.
The UnitingWorld Lent Event stories we have shared in our congregation over the Sundays of Lent bear witness to this story. They are meant to encourage and inspire us; to provoke us to look at our communities with fresh eyes; to help us ask the question, where am I called to live out the Gospel?
To read the Lent Event stories visit lentevent.com
Rev David Baker
Moderator, Queensland Synod