Easter – Gain courage to love radically

Pacific Conference of Churches general secretary Reverend James Bhagwan (left). Picture: FT FILE

LEADERS of the churches in the Pacific have been reminded to continue to reflect Jesus’s calling for them and to follow a radicalism of love which dispels the division of the sacred and the secular that attempts to place the practice of love of God, neighbour, creation and oneself in a silo of purely individual faith.

Pacific Conference of Churches general secretary the Rev James Bhagwan said they must always remember that God’s prophets, more often than not, have to pay the ultimate price for speaking truth, in love to power.

“Jesus knew what the cost of being the Way, the Truth and the Life was. He knew what awaited Him for embodying the word of God to those who worshipped power and money and used force and manipulated religion to achieve their agendas,” he said.

Mr Bhagwan said following Christ meant standing against the west-gate parade without the benefit of swords or armour.

“We can talk about those suffering from climate change, we can express sympathy for the poor, we can express solidarity with those who suffer discrimination.

“We can engage in advocacy and pastoral care. We are called to be disciples, standing for what Jesus stands for — welcoming the stranger, healing the sick, making people whole again — even the ones we don’t like, even the ones who scare us.”

Mr Bhagwan added that leadership required servanthood and grace and that peace was won without sword, and person claims greater value than another.

He said dominion of God was nothing remotely like the kingdoms or empires with which we were all too familiar.

“May this Easter give us the courage to confront those who oppress, whoever and wherever they may be in our society and may we gain the courage to love as radically as Jesus did.”

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