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Sunday Devotion: 3 May 2020, Fourth Sunday of Easter

Sunday Devotions

Is Christianity just an eternal insurance policy?

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Written by clergy and lay people across our Diocesan community, ‘Sunday Devotions’ is a column of short reflections based on a Lectionary reading of the day, suitable for small group discussion or personal use.

Main Readings: Acts 2.42-47; Psalm 23; 1 Peter 2.1-10; John 10.1-10

Supplementary Readings: Psalm 95; Revelation 20.11-15; Jeremiah 23.1-8; Psalm 98; Revelation 7.9-17

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10.10)

Have you ever seen the ABC programme Gruen, which explores the advertising industry? In one episode, in a segment called ‘The Pitch’, the programme challenged an agency to create an advertisement that convinced atheists to believe in God. The result was a very witty advertisement that thought the best approach was to persuade people to purchase an ‘Eternal Insurance Policy’ with the tag, ‘God, you’d be mad not to!’

When did Christianity become all about the future? When is this abundant life meant to begin? Today is Good Shepherd Sunday when we hear Jesus’s promise of abundant life. We might wonder why the world around us considers this promise to be empty. The message of abundant life brings great comfort to so many of us. I think what we sometimes miss is that through Easter this promised life has already begun. Even in such times as we are experiencing now, we are called to live the abundant life revealed by the Good Shepherd.

To be Christian is to seek to live the example of abundant life; a life found in a relationship with the Good Shepherd and each other. The experience of physical isolation we know now feels as though something has been stolen from us.  On the other hand, relationships, which show God’s love, return to us abundant life.

Abundant life now! You’d be mad not to.

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