Keith Marshall writes from Hope Lutheran Church:
By the end of April, the season of Lent will be over, the sting of Good Friday will have passed and we will be living in the Good News of Easter. The regular patterns of life will return. We will no longer be taking intentional time to reflect on our own sin and need of Christ’s redemption.
The disturbing reality of our savior’s sacrifice on the cross will be replaced with the glory of Easter as we celebrate his resurrection. Life will once again be all good and well.
But I ask you this question: is life really meant to be all good and well? Because if the goal of life is to find comfort and routine then we miss what it means to live as people of the cross.
The power of the cross, Jesus’ death and resurrection, tells us that the regular patterns of life aren’t all good and well. The Cross of Christ reminds us that something radical has happened and our lives are no longer routine nor mundane.
Now that we have journeyed through Lent, now that we have mourned on Good Friday, now that we have proclaimed hallelujah on Easter our lives don’t go back to the regular patterns of life. For Christ’s life, death and resurrection means that as people of faith our lives have been claimed by God and we are now free to live under the cross as forgiven, redeemed and loved children of our Heavenly Father.
The German Lutheran pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, teaches us what being a Christian means during times of social change and unrest. He was attributed with the following quote, “Being a Christian is less about cautiously avoiding sin than about courageously and actively doing God’s will.” Bonhoeffer teaches us that the cross means Jesus has already won the victory over sin and death. And if the goal of the Christian life is only to avoid sin we miss the point of the cross.
The freedom of the Christian simply doesn’t mean that I am free from sin, but it is the freedom and responsibility to participate in enacting the Kingdom of God here on earth. As people of faith, we are called to be people of action: to live in obedience and grace to the will of God, to bring peace and justice, to proclaim law and gospel.
To live freely under the cross means we are willing to risk caring for our neighbors unconditionally. It means we speak God’s truth into the systems designed to keep the marginalized oppressed. It means those of us with privilege recognize the inequity so that those not being heard will finally have the dignity bestowed on them by God.
Are you living the freedom of a Christian? If you are only concerned about comfort, security and avoiding sin, than you are not! Living under the freedom offered to us in Christ means that we know our salvation is secure. And because of that assurance, we are free to love others for the sake of the Gospel!