April 13, 2015

Who's in Charge Here?

Alleluia! Gosh, it feels good to say that again. From the darkness of the Easter Vigil it suddenly rang out: “Alleluia! Christ is risen!” The victory is won! We are bold and jubilant.

This is so different from the Friday before when we quietly contemplated the evil Jesus endured to take away our own evilness. At Trinity Episcopal Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the Rev. Dr. Thomas P. Hansen stopped us from wallowing in our dust. He looked to John’s accounts of the passion which present Jesus in control, not as a victim.

“In John’s description of the crucifixion, evil did not win the day. Jesus did not die the victim. He was victor. He was not a helpless sufferer, but king. With this insight, John carefully crafted his Gospel and his account of Jesus’ death. …Jesus in charge every step of the way.

“The cross was not forced upon Jesus. He willingly accepted it. He did not lose his life. He gave it. He was not killed. He chose to die.”

Father Tom’s Good Friday homily reminded us that our God had a strategy for victory. He had the power and confidence to see His plan through until the resurrection, and until now and to eternity.

How might our congregations be shaped if we more frequently considered who’s really in charge? When disputes arise, when territories are threatened, when goals are not shared or understood by all, how could the image of Jesus in control impact our conversations and ability to reach consensus? What if we rushed to the Bible instead of to the by-laws and together prayed for the wisdom to move forward together? What if we stopped a heated discussion to ask the Holy Spirit to calm the room and open our hearts to God’s will?

Oh God of courage and might and mercy and love, may the light of your Paschal candle shine in our governance as well as in our worship. Alleluia! Amen.

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