For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God.  Romans 8:19-23

Today, the entire world is consumed with the economic crisis which is affecting all nations and people. There is not a single nation that is not being affected in one way or another by the economic melt down that is severely affecting the economic and social lives of people. It is almost impossible to tune in to any radio station or television net work without hearing about the state of the world’s economy and the affects it is having on people. When we examine the issues that give rise to the present situation, we discover that it is closely related to human greed, selfishness, dishonesty, lack of self discipline and moral disintegration. The financial difficulties we are experiencing are man made; the blame rests solely on the shoulders of man.

As a result of the financial crisis many people are living in an environment of fear and insecurity. Workers are asking the question, “Will I have a job tomorrow?” Businesses are contemplating their future existence. People worry about their ability to meet their expenses and provide for their families. All people, directly or indirectly affected by the present economic crisis are going through moments of anxiety; the future appears to be unknown. Governments also find themselves in a quandary/dilemma as the crisis is having a negative affect on their social and economic policies.

Financial success is not something to be downplayed. Profit in business is necessary for a business life and growth. We all need money for our personal lives and existence. But when we fail to recognise “that the love of money is the root of all evil” we open our lives to greed, dishonesty, immoral practices and the like. When we make money and profit the bottom line and end all of everything, we reduce people to mere statistics, and people become things to be used. We are seeing before us the results of an evil system that puts more emphasis on manna than on people. In a sense, the creation is in bondage awaiting its redemption.

From a theological perspective the world finds itself in this predicament because people have given the glory to the creature and not the creator; (St. Paul expounds on this in Romans chapter 1). As a result our lives are dominated by greed, covetousness, envy, jealousy, discontentment, dishonesty, a lack of discipline and pride. We always get into problems when we fail to recognise that man cannot live by bread alone. The present crisis is a reminder that we are finite beings and if we attempt to exist without any kind of reference to the ONE who is infinite we will end up like the people who attempted to build the tower of Babel- confusion and chaos. I would want to suggest that some of the financial and economics difficulties which we experience in the world and our nation stem from our failure to observe the tenets of the tenth commandment: You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbour’s." The present situation exposes our vulnerability, we are not as smart as we think, we are not as strong as we believe; human nature is subject to so many variables and changes; it cannot be trusted to always do what is right.

Does Easter have a message for us at this time? Easter is about Christ’s resurrection from the dead. The resurrection speaks of new life and new possibilities. In this context the resurrection says to us that God can use this experience to bring about a change in the way we live. It reminds us that nothing can frustrate God’s will for the world; as a result we can trust God at all times. Out of this situation the “creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God.” You can see the presence time as one of despair or hope. As Christians we see it through the lenses of the resurrection; through the spectacles of hope: “Behold, I make all things new.” This is not a time for despair; even if it gets worse we will not flounder and be lost. Why? We are people of the resurrection. Within the Christian understanding, life follows death. If we truly believe it we must allow the present system to die so that it can live. I believe that as this present system dies and decays God is bringing into being a new system with new values that will promote justice, bring righteousness and establish equity. Life will never be the same again.

Because we are people of the resurrection we must not worry unduly. God has a purpose for the creation; everything fits into God’s plan for us. It is amazing that we claim to be people of the resurrection, yet we worry about so many things and allow anxiety to control our lives. We worry unduly about money, about this and that, at this time students are worrying about their exams, we worry about our children, as a result everything becomes a problem. Easter says we must have patience and we will see the glory of God.

The epistle for today says: “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” This calls us to a new of life. It challenges us to adopt new standards and values. The Easter message at this time is one of change and renewal. It calls us to change the way we live. Its message invites us to get back to some of the basic values of honesty, decency, truthfulness, self discipline and righteousness. If we make this change we will experience a renewal that makes life worth living. A life that finds fulfilment and purpose as it is lived.
Finally, the Easter message to us and to all the people of the world at this time is a message of hope. Whatever our present situation Easter reminds us that life is stronger than death; light outshines darkness and hope drives out despair.

We are people of hope. Christian hope is expressed in Paul’s letter to the Romans: “For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Hope gives us the energy to live.

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