Easter Reboot

My laptop computer is running slowly nowadays. It seems as though they’re not built to cope with more than about three years regular use anymore…

Of course, I’m partly to blame – I try to run too many programmes at the same time. About 3 months ago, I upgraded its memory to full capacity – in the hope that it would work harder, smarter and more efficiently for me. But it hasn’t worked!

I often have several software programmes (or ‘apps’ as we now call them) open at the same time – and often several windows or documents running for each programme. I use email and photo software drawing on huge databases.

The result of this (over)activity is that all of the software programmes run slower and less efficiently. Increasingly, I am visited by a spinning rainbow disc – the disc of death / doom I like to call it…

The best response is usually to leave it to its own devices, and hope that after a few minutes everything will be resolved. I’m more likely to frantically try to close windows, thereby adding to its backlog of operations using its (over stretched) memory. On a few occasions, I’ve been left with the only option of pressing and holding the power button until the computer is ‘forced’ to shut down.

All this description and anthropomorphism concerning my laptop stands as an analogy for how I have felt recently. For several months I’ve been running multiple ‘apps’ at the same time. The demands on the life of an inner-city vicar can be very great indeed: school governorship with a new head teacher appointment early this year; local political work (community organising); national political work (Christians on the Left); trying to fundraise for an assistant minister; developing a strategy for a congregation plant and missional community; supervising staff; managing building development projects; 1-2-1s with congregation members; maintaining IT systems; preparing annual accounts and all relevant charitable / diocesan returns; being a committed participant in my collegial networks – chapter, HTB network, local ecumenical groups; leading discipleship programmes; trying to develop other leaders; responding to congregation member crises; managing people’s expectations and projections; preparing sermons; preparing and leading worship services; trying to remember to pray! Remembering that I’m also a husband and father…

You get the picture… Anyway, in the final weeks before Easter, I began to realise that I was exhausted – I was rarely sleeping more than 5-6 hours, and carrying a great deal of burdens with me all the time – even on days off… The laptop began to stand as an analogy for my life – too many projects, taking up more of my attention than there was capacity.

The spinning rainbow disc (of death/doom) was continually before my eyes… On Maundy Thursday and Good Friday I felt quite depressed (good timing I suppose).

Anyway, I realise that I needed God to press and hold the power button until I was shut down and could start again.

I needed to reboot.

But that what Easter is all about…

It’s the time when God reboots – not just me – but humanity and creation.

God in Jesus pulls the plug on the futile striving of the apps of our lives. We cannot save ourselves, we cannot in our own strength live the life we were designed for. We needed Christ to ‘Force Close’ the powers of sin and death, and to make space for something new…

On Easter Sunday we baptised 6 members of our church. As Scripture puts it, they were buried with Christ in baptism, that they may share his resurrection life. The old self dies (is shut down) that the new life of Christ May begin.

It’s as though God has preserved our hardware, but he’s performed a software upgrade on us – actually, it’s more like an entirely new operating system. Easter sees GX10.10 installed on our creaking hardware (God by the X has come that we may have life – and life to the full! Jn 10.10).

I know that I’ll see that spinning disc again – but I’m resolved to let God shut me down and reboot me again and again…

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