“I came that they may have life
and have it abundantly”
We live in a world that teaches us to prize the Good Life – through the pursuit of health, wealth, power and control. The Gospel, on the other hand, promises the Great (best) Life shaped and sustained by the ministry and mission of Jesus.
Are you tempted by the Good Life? Most of us are.
Do you sacrifice your relationships, your time, your health, your very self for the Good life – only to find it’s beyond your reach in some vague and distant future? “I’ll be happy, fulfilled and satisfied when I ...”
The pursuit of the good life revolves around ourselves; it’s the life into which we are born. It can soar or destruct. The good life, provided we have the skill, capability and resources, promises all sorts of satisfaction – even though it’s short lived and empty in the end. The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly reminded us of our own fragility in pursuit of the Good Life.
The Great Life however doesn’t revolve around ourselves but around God. It’s the life into which we are reborn; it’s the life into which we are baptized. The Great life cuts through the empty promises of this world and gives us a life that honestly - has no ending.
The Great Life got rolling when Jesus made his triumphant, yet humble, procession into Jerusalem. He was cheered by thousands of Passover pilgrims who thought that he was going to bring about the Good Life for them. But Jesus was about a different kind of kingdom - one not built on power, prestige, influence or privilege, but upon the power of love. Jesus came that we might have the Great Life ~ life abundant ~ life eternal.
Things began to take shape on Maundy Thursday when our Lord Jesus transformed the Passover Meal into the Holy Eucharist, giving us the Holy mysteries of his body and blood for the forgiveness of our sins and the sustaining of our souls.
It continued on Good Friday when Jesus hung on a cruel cross, where he suffered for real and died for real.
But death didn’t have the last word. Christ’s resurrection from the dead changed everything and secured the promise of the Great Life for you and me. The false promises of the Good Life were and are defeated by Jesus, with the true promise of his great and eternal life.
The promises of the Good Life are, in the end, vain and empty. But, the Great life, secured through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, offers us real and sustainable joy in this world and the next.
The Good Life ends in death. But the Great life rooted in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life ~ never ends.
May each of you be blessed and renewed in the power of His Great Life this Easter and always.
Alleluia! Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!