søndag 7. mai 2017

The small signs - a time for everything *

The picture in yesterday's reflection (see below) was taken while I was speaking in Ialoveni last Sunday. The outstretched arms illustrate Jesus' hands nailed to the cross as a sign that God embraces the whole world in an expression of love.

That is how I also think he came to earth: As a little child with outstretched hands. The Christmas story tells us that Mary "wrapped him" (1) just after he was born. In Eastern Europe, we still see babies being wrapped, and then his hands are not visible. The expression of the embracing God is hidden.

It is strange that one of the worst examples of evil, crucifixion, stretched out the arms of Jesus to a wide embrace, which transforms the cross to a symbol of ultimate love.

After Jesus 'death, I read that Joseph from Arimatea took down the body of Jesus, “wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb” (2). In other words, the symbol of God embracing the world was once again hidden by people who would only do the best.

I think that's why it was important that Jesus when he rose from the grave the left linen behind (3). It wasn’t just a sign that Jesus has risen and death was defeated, but also a sign that no power any longer has power to conceal God's extended love for the world. However, often with good intention, people are able to scourge the gospel in a way that people do not see the open embrace of love. Perhaps because we often meet expectations rather than love. Love must always come before expectations of response. If not, it's not love.

‘Manna’ for today:

Thank God, for all the little signs of your love.
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(1) See Luke 2:7
(2) See Luke 23:53
(3) See Luke 24:12 
'A time for everything' is connected with the Bible's teaching about a 'season for every activity' Eccl 3 This series is about the teaching in the ime between Easter and Pentecost

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