There is something about Easter that haunts me.
Our conceptions of God are so powerful and how they impact our life is so fascinating. I wrote a sermon about this several years ago while in the Ukraine: I call this aspect of God ‘Jehovah Babushka’. I got it while watching an Ukrainian grandma (babushka) knead dough.
It’s like God is always punching into the dough our life – to break the crust of the outside and expose the raw stuff on the inside. Always turning us inside out to expose that which is in need of the air in order to develop and mash that which is crusty into softness again.
The story of Jesus does this too. He welcomes in those who had been on the outside or stuck on the periphery.
He pushes out those who assumed they were center.
He brought low the arrogant and the prideful.
He lifted up the lowly and the downtrodden.
He said it’s not about sacrifice or even law anymore.
He broke the crust of the old system to expose the loving heart of god to the world.
He turned the raw goo of the disciples out to the world as his public representatives on earth.
The spirit of god crashed in at Pentecost to turn upside down the priesthood.
Now we are all ministers.
The priesthood has been turned inside out and upside down.
God calls us to season of loneliness to expose our need of people. God uses tough encounters with people to show us something about ourselves and hopefully smash our conception of God – exposing the immature and underdeveloped while breaking in through the stale and crusty images we have allowed to become cliché.
Jesus smashed those old crusty categories.
The faithfulness of Jesus (pistis christou) mashes our certainty that we are saved by having faith in Jesus and exposes the raw reality that we are called to participate in the faithfulness of Jesus and that is what brings salvation to the world.Jesu Babushka kneads all the gas out of the dough – presses all the air pockets so that the finished product is fine and consistent.
All of this, of course, is only in preparation for the chemistry (yeast and rising) transformation to kick in and the eventual baking (heat) of the oven.
Who said faith was going to be easy? Or did you think Easter was all jelly beans and pretty dresses?