The Common Good

This year, Earth Day and Easter fall so close to each other that they almost touch. When we view Earth Day in the light of Easter, we’re urged to pick up our shovels and plant the seeds of creation’s resurrection. If the joy of Easter gives us enough hope to take a few small actions for the renewal of creation, it can make a big difference.

I think we all need to remember and celebrate the hope that those words proclaim. “He is risen” is much more than an optimistic expression. It is not an empty platitude or wishful thinking, but the assertion of that in the midst of all the personal and collective pain, brokenness, injustice, and oppression that we see or experience, Christ is victorious.

Crucified christ image, robodread /

I’ve come to appreciate that there are so many broken and twisted places in this world that need a Redeemer. And Jesus is there, undoing the power of sin and evil on the cross. I’ve come to appreciate that you cannot have the joy of resurrection, without the pain of crushing disappointment and death. And that Jesus was there.

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To be human is to be imperfect, and although we shouldn’t glorify sin or purposefully live in sin, we need to be careful about labeling others at “heretics,” “unbelievers,” and “sinners.” Because in reality, contrary to everything we assume, those whom we detest just might be favored by God.

Pricked finger, Chris G. Walker /

Jesus was clear about what the kingdom of God would look like. He described the kingdom, and wound up bleeding as a result. He was killed by those who didn’t share his vision of a world in which the last are first, everyone is beloved and the needy are embraced.

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It is certainly true that we are a generation that defies most labels; because we have near unlimited access to a database of global information, we are a generation that doesn’t easily buy into a singular system of thought. ... That doesn’t mean we lack commitment to a community — but millennial communities will look radically different than that of previous generations.

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