The Resurrection opens the World

The resurrection renews the world. It opens it and keeps it open and it makes it new so that it is a new world. The resurrection has transformed the world in which we live. Of course it is not until we are baptised that we begin to learn this, and through years of discipleship begin to grasp the dimensions of this transformation. The pagans – that is, anyone untouched by the gospel – live in a closed world, in which every man must fear that a gain for his neighbour is a loss for himself. They are locked in and set one against another in unending conflict. This was the world of our ancestors, until the gospel arrived. The gospel told them that God has broken through into this world, has made himself at home in it, and comes and goes in and out of our sight, beyond our control and beyond our ability to summons him or deny him. He is Lord of time and space. Every barrier and confinement we meet opens before him to let him enter. Though solid to us all, creation is porous to him. The master comes goes as he please. The elements of the world divide to his right and left and bow before him as he passes. No time or place confines or contains him. All places and times are the places that he creates and opens to us, so that we may meet and encounter one another and live together there. All places are his hospitality to us. As this realisation sunk into our pagan forebears they learned a much more benign and tolerant attitude to one another, the mighty to the weak, and they ceased to fear one another, learned to trust those with whom they had no ties of blood, and so learned to live together in much greater units. They gave up living in tribes that were committed to aggrandisement through war, and became a nation, a community of people under one law.

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