Listening to some of the songs moving through the top 40 this year, it’s good to see that getting along is such a big theme. Guy Sebastian is singing it, asking ‘Dear God, dear soul, dear Mary, Muhammad, can we all just get along?’ Macklemore expresses the same desire – for a community characterised by love and acceptance – as he denounces the refusal of gay marriage which creates ‘a world so hateful some would rather die than be who they are’ (in his hit ‘Same Love’). Deep within each of us there is this good desire, for a world where there is peace, mutual understanding of one another and love.
Yet what is the source of the division and hate that plagues our relationships, communities and nations? The Birds of Tokyo (my favourite band) in their recent song ‘This Fire’ are honest in their analysis of this problem:
OUR CITY IS A BLAZE OF NEON FLARE
DOES ANYBODY CARE
FRACTURED LINES IN THE PAVEMENT
EMBERS COLOUR THE AIR
THESE STREETS WE NAMED
WILL NEVER BE THE SAME
THIS FIRE, THIS FIRE WE LET IT ALL BURN
We let it all burn. It’s us that are the problem.
The Bible tells us that each of us lives as if we are ‘god’. Our desires and wants are at the centre of our lives. We are the ones who call all the shots and make all the decisions. Because of this, we will always be biased towards those who are like us and who affirm us and our decisions and preferences. Until we face up to this deep problem, we will continue to fight the spot fires of hatred and intolerance. Sexism, racism, homophobia, ageism, weightism, religionism. The list will continue to grow.
What then is the solution? Well, that’s where the message of Easter comes in. Jesus died and rose to free us from a life where we are god, to give us a new life where God is God. His death cuts the cord with that old way of living and opens the door to a new life where, by the Spirit of the Risen Lord Jesus, we can now start to live with the true God at the centre of our lives.
You see, in the Christian view, heaven is a place where everyone loves and accepts everyone else. It will be wonderful. However, you can’t get to heaven if you’re focused on yourself and not on God. You’d ruin it. We need this change to occur, right at the centre of our being, and only Jesus – by his death, resurrection and the pouring out of His Spirit – can perform that change.
Can we all just get along? Yes – it’s called heaven – and it all begins with accepting the change of life offered by Jesus.
EASTER SERVICE TIMES:
Good Friday Service, Bucasia Beach Esplanade, 9am 29th March 2013
Easter Sunday, Fitzgerald State School Hall, 4pm 31st March 2013