Today we see God’s love spreading like wild fire. Matthew tells of the resurrection and like all good eye witness accounts, each sees something different. Matthew focuses on the disbursement of information. The women went to tell the disciples. “Some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests.” Jesus shows up in Galilee, and elsewhere. In Matthew, things are moving, and word is spreading fast. News traveled fast. Jesus moves fast.
The Exodus accounts a similar type of wild fire. The Passover has just been instituted, and there are some rules come our way which transform the meal. It turns out no foreigner shall eat of the meal, however slaves and aliens who reside with you are welcome. The poor, the outcast, and the afflicted have a high place in God’s kingdom. So not only is the entire company of Israel to eat, but they are to open this meal and invite the lowly.
This is precisely how I encountered my first Seder meal. I was a student, poor and lowly, and was taken in. I was a student in a foreign land, over in Israel, and some good Jews took me in.
This concept of “including the foreigner” gets fully rooted in our faith in the New Testament. The resurrection is meant for everyone. The “good news” is that YOU too are included in the story. The “aliens who reside there” are brought into God’s fold. The poor find hope and acceptance too. Everyone!
Just as God loved us, we are to love others. It is woven into the text: Old and New alike. And the point is multiplication.
Throughout scripture we are encouraged to love, and to spread that love. It is the Bible’s way. Frankly, it is what upsets so many. It doesn’t seem fair, all this undeserved love. Many rail against it, insisting subversively in their religion that you have to earn God’s love. But loving and spreading love about sums it up. It the only way we are to live. It is the radical nature of the gospel, and the center of our story.