First Word - April


The message of the cross is foolishness to the world but to us who believe it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1 v 18 To a world that admires strength and success there perhaps is no more contrary statement than the cross of our Lord erected on a hill outside the city wall of Jerusalem. Is this success? Wherein is strength in something that appears to represent failure. The hopes and aspirations of those who looked for regime change – and setting free from the oppressive occupiers – dashed in the death of the one they had placed their hopes in. The cross represents the failures of humanity to see that God was in their midst in the person of Jesus whether that is in the first century or the twenty first century. Humanity, through the centuries, has disfigured the goodness of God’s creation whether in battle or torture; in inner city violence or the breakdown of relationships; in the effects of climate change or the abuse and destruction of the environment. In many examples these are the ways in which we continue to oppose the goodness that God wills. Yet we speak of the cross as the pathway to salvation, to victory because it represents in its highest form the sheer generosity of God’s love in the outpouring of love for the world in Jesus on the cross. His acceptance of the criminal crucified with him; in his entrusting of his mother and his beloved disciple to each other as they stood at the foot of the cross keeping watch through his agony. In worldly terms the cross is foolishness. Importantly for us who follow the Christian Way the cross is not the end of the journey – for it gives way to the joy of Easter Day - the discovery of the empty tomb. The acknowledgment that all was not lost on Good Friday and that Christ is risen never to die again. There were so many ways in which the authorities could have discredited the news of the resurrection but they could not. The message of Easter Day has echoed down through the centuries and is still alive today – it is the light that no darkness can overcome not even the foolishness of the cross. Joy to you all this Eastertide. Stuart Nairn.