Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Life After Easter

Today's episode of Things I Think About And Find Someone Else Writing About is all about
Life After Easter over at Jesus Radicals. Take this quote, for instance.

If Jesus came to Earth only to die for our sins and to be resurrected to conquer death, He never had to utter a single word; He never had to call a single disciple; He never had to perform a single miracle. None of the actions of His life had any impact on His death and resurrection. We cannot, as the unfortunate Apostles’ Creed, brush off the life of Christ by only remembering that “He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried” and so on. We must ask ourselves, and each other, what happened between the birth and the suffering? And what does that mean for us?

Herein lies my single great objection to the relentless, single-minded pursuit of "Souls! Souls! SOULS!" that permeates much of contemporary protestantism and is little more than a hyper-distillation of selected passages from Romans. It's a reminder that Jesus commanded his disciples to "make disciples" and not "mark notches." It's also a reminder that disciples are more than just people with a stamp in the divine passport. Disciples are required to obey their master, and he gave just one command; one simple, emancipatory, command.

Love one another.

The conversion to disciple does not entail endless and effortless drifting through a cloudy afterlife, but requires immediate and sustained action on the part of the new disciple. Life after Easter is work, to bring about the kingdom of God through mass obedience to the command to love, and all that this entails. Life after Easter is profoundly material.
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