Our Easter Question
Human beings are seekers. We are that part of creation come to conscious self-awareness, and we alone among the species have the ability to stand back, to ponder existence and to ask those big existential questions. We are always searching and longing. We have a deep drive to find truth and meaning, to see beyond the moment. And so we ask questions. We wonder and ponder, and we reflect on the questions asked of us too. Religion grows out of this distinctively human activity. And good religion will always make space for questions. Good religion does not overwhelm us with doctrine. Rather it is invitational. The invitation is to let Mystery lead us and find a home in us. And so questions are asked, stories are told. We are invited to work it out. And respond. As Jesus said, “Let those who have ears to hear, listen”.
Jesus himself taught by telling stories and asking questions. When people came to him with their questions he invariably responded by asking them a question. Jesus did not indoctrinate people. He spoke in parables and riddles. He got people to let the images speak to them and open up possibilities. He got them to stop and think and indeed to take responsibility for their lives and for finding that meaning that alone will satisfy. With those stories ringing in their ears, those images surprising them and indeed shocking them too, they were invited into something magnificently ‘other’. This frustrated those people who wanted answers and the security of laws. And as he did then, so he does now: he shakes our foundations and invites us into alternative images of ourselves, of the world, of our future, and of God.
Questions don’t give us anywhere to hide. We can reject doctrine and law, but when a question is asked of us we find ourselves drawn into it. In the Gospels we find quite a few questions: “What are you looking for?” Jesus asks the two disciples of John who were following him. And to the blind man sitting at the side of the road, calling out to him, he asks, “What do you want me to do for you?” And then to the disciples, “Who do people say I am?”, “And, you, who do you say I am?” And of course we have those great questions we heard on Good Friday – Pilate asking the crowd, “What shall I do with him? What evil has he done? What is truth?” And Jesus’ question to Judas: “Is it with a kiss that you betray me?”
Ms Kerry McCullough
Dean of Mission