Easter is not an ending but yet another new beginning. We learn the heart of God that is full of grace through our risen Lord. Our worship during Lent has been “nourished by extravagant grace.” Richard Rohr’s following quote captures the theme beautifully and powerfully:
“Most of us were taught that God would love us if and when we change. In fact, God loves you so that you can change. It is the inherent experience of love that becomes the engine of change.”
We will continue to hold up the theme of grace throughout the Easter season and beyond, for the more we look around into the affairs of the world the more we are convinced that the most urgent and powerful Christian message to our world is grace and reconciliation. As one who had followed Christ all his life, the advanced-in-years John stated his experience and understanding of God in Christ succinctly: “Dear friends, let’s love each other, because love is from God, and everyone who loves is born from God and knows God. The person who doesn’t love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:7-8).
John also knew that we nurture our capacity to love not through our own volition but through remaining connected to our Source. It is not “we perfect our capacity to love” but “God’s love is perfected in us” as we remain in God and God remains in us (1 John 4:12). Quoting Richard Rohr one more time, “our holiness is first of all and really only God’s holiness, and that is why it’s certain and secure. It is participation in love, a mutual indwelling, not an achievement or performance on our part.” Jesus the Son of God became human. Following Jesus and being connected to God through him, we humans realize our inherent potential to be sons and daughters of God, to be divine.
I pray that Ester becomes a reality in you, not mere article of faith. What the world needs is not people who harbor the correct idea about God and anxiously guard it, but people who are freed by Grace to love, even the enemies.