By Martin Hodson, BUS General Director
This last year God has helped me see how prone I am to putting myself centre-stage. A few other people have told me they have been on the same journey. We’ve been telling the story of the last 12 months in terms of how our freedom has been restricted and how our lives have been disrupted. We’ve noted what we’ve learned and wondered what our future might be like beyond the pandemic.
Of course, we’ve thought of others too – caring, serving, praying and sometimes weeping. But even then in the back of our minds has been the thought, ‘it could have been me.’ Or we have told the story of how we engaged in the communal resistance to the damage caused by Covid-19.
So the disruptive thing about the Easter story is that we are most definitely not centre-stage. We are spectators, watching the spectacle unfold as Jesus enters Jerusalem and events accelerate towards the moment of crucifixion. We witness his burial with heavy hearts. Then on Easter Sunday we feel like the audience outside the empty tomb as Mary, then Peter and John, arrive. The risen Jesus appears and our eyes are on him. We are stunned observers, even though we have heard the story so many times.
Across our churches over Easter these foundational events will be re-told – whether the medium is face-to-face or online. And more than anything we will know that this is God’s story, in which Jesus is centre stage. This compelling history really is his story. Salvation does not begin when we tell our story, but when we ‘fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Hebrews 12.2).
As we collectively fix our eyes on Jesus this Easter we find ourselves drawn into his story – not to play the lead role of course, but to be among the cast of witnesses whose lives and destinies are formed by what he has done. Worship is the repeated task of stepping away from centre stage until we see the Holy Spirit put the spotlight on Jesus.
Once again the articles in Connect this month introduce us to some members of the cast. Amazed, transformed, filled and inspired by Jesus, they are each finding their place in his story.