In the Japanese Shinto religious tradition, if an earthenware pot used for religious observance is broken, that pot must be restored. The pieces are taken and put back together, but into the adhesive is introduced an amount of gold to give it strength. The cracks and the brokenness can be seen; they remain, but the pot is more valuable, is stronger, because holding it together is a golden thread.
This Easter we celebrate the golden thread of God’s love which shines through the brokenness of our lives and our world in Hope. The golden thread of God’s love which binds us together to strengthen us in the face of fear and allows to know the real Joy of resurrection life which Our Lord Jesus Christ gives us, and the Holy Spirit allows us to share.
The golden thread of God’s love that we see shine in Hope is the sure Hope that comes from the knowledge that the sun rises, whether we are always able to recognise that fact or not. At the heart of the resurrection narratives is the fact that Love is stronger than any natural phenomenon we experience, even death itself. The Hebrew concept of Remembrance makes real in this present moment Exodus, Passover that is the concept of Remembrance Jesus used at the last supper. More than memory, but memory teaches much about the nature of God’s love when we simply remember those we have known who have died. It is love which lifts the veil between heaven and earth, the golden thread of Hope holds our heaven and earth in the reality of that love, that speaks to us of God.
There is no room for fear in love: we hear that every Sunday. Fear is the most lethal weapon in the world and in our lives. It is lethal because it encourages those facets of our lives that we would rather be without, the questions, the doubts around who I am and why am I the way I am. Why do others seem to have more than me without working for it; why are others stronger, more self-assured, more assertive? The golden thread of God’s love runs through that brokenness and reminds us that we are made in God’s image to share God’s love. The importance of the cross and of the tomb is that Our Lord Jesus Christ proved that despite failure, disappointment, indeed death itself – we are good enough. Good enough to share God’s love; there is no room for fear in that love. In apparent weakness there is strength: I remember saying at the beginning of the pandemic that we closed our church doors not in fear but in LOVE.
That is the true Joy of Love which brings peace, makes resurrection real. Joy is not the absence of pain or suffering, the absence of doubt and confusion. The joy in love is the recognition that Our Lord Jesus Christ in his suffering and death gives us confidence that, made in God’s image, we are good enough. God who is love makes something of our pain and guilt and fear and doubt. That is the true joy of love that is of God: it gives us confidence to look for and recognise Hope, the Hope that the sun rises, the Hope that in the cross we may recognise even excellence is not enough, but failure can be redeemed.
+ Kevin, Glasgow and Galloway