April 21, 2015

Welcome to the Cathedral Church of St. George

in Kingston, Ontario, Canada

The Very Reverend Mary Irwin-Gibson,

Dean

What kind of God would go so far into alienation and darkness and even death just to be able to reconnect with us and have us live in the freedom of being loved by and living with God?

The message of Jesus has been stated in many different ways and some of us have adopted particular formulas, perhaps from what we were taught as children. Our own filters and assumptions colour what we hear and understand, and they limit the potential of God’s message.

We aren’t alone in this: Jesus’ followers specialized in not understanding what he was saying and doing and they applied their own frameworks to what they knew of God. 

The gospel of John says:

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted;” John 3:16 The Message

People sometimes get hung up on the punishment end of the equation and miss the opportunity to drop their guilt and trust in Jesus. God doesn’t love us because we are good but because God is good. Nothing humans can do will ever decrease or increase God's eternal eagerness to love.

Easter is the church’s great celebration of God’s triumph over death. We celebrate the God who came to change our mind about how God operates; to learn that God’s power and love is not limited as ours is; to see the God who would suffer with us and from whom we don’t need to be separated.

And this has been the point of our Christian hope ever since: God is stronger than death! This is good news and we want to share it!

Happy Easter!

Mary