And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”
And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. (Matt. 21:12-14)
A couple of reminders on this Palm Sunday:
I am not saved simply to “go to heaven.” I am saved to understand I have been restored as an image bearer of God and there is a mission given… a human vocation.
The “royal priesthood” is the company of rescued humans who, being part of “earth,” worship the God of heaven and are thereby equipped, with the breath of heaven in their renewed lungs, to work for his kingdom on earth. (SIDENOTE: This is why I believe in being attached to Christ and his Church. Without his renewal breathing through me, I am ultimately powerless to keep on with anything of worth in this world.) The revolution o fthe cross sets us free to be in-between people, caught up in the rhythm of worship and mission. (The Day the Revolution Began, p. 363)
The cross of Christ is critical in the life of the believer. This year, it is a stark symbol for our time. We need to pay attention.
The way of the Cross is the way of humiliation. Our God is not the vengeful, warrior God. He is not about “conquering” the way we think in current American conservative Christian practice. Our current mentality is “war.” Our Lord is about the way of humiliation. The Cross is that symbol.
This Easter is a time of liberation… and judgment. If we see the way of the Cross again as the way of humility, we find true life. If we ignore the Cross and humiliation and continue to only seek “power” and “might,” we will find failure. We will find judgment. God will deal with our arrogance.
God, forgive us.
Christ, have mercy.
Too often we get our minds set for objection when we hear something like “whiteness.” We get arguments ready, like, “I can’t help being born white.” We don’t stop to think through terms and so we choose to be offended and cut off everything that follows.
Staying silent does me no good.
It is long past time for white evangelicals to call out injustice, bigotry, violent rhetoric, disparaging language, racism, misogyny, abuse of power, and the idolatry of Christian nationalism in their own communities, even if doing so comes at a cost. The cost of not doing so is undeniable, and it is a cost largely born by others.
What a week.
The second impeachment trial of Donald Trump. (Just sit on that thought for a few seconds.)
“I never understood why going to church made you a hypocrite… because nobody goes to church because they’re perfect. If you’ve got it all together, you don’t need to go. You can go jogging with all the other perfect people on Sunday morning. Every time you go to church, you’re confessing again to yourself, to your family, to the people you pass on the way there, to the people who will greet you that you don’t have it all together. And that you need their support. You need their direction. You need some accountability; you need some help.” — Rich Mullins
For years and years I have held to what I have called a “remnant theology.” I haven’t voiced it well, and I know my version of it may not match up with other thoughts. There is always a remnant. While we chase numbers and bigness, that is never a true measure of the Kingdom of God.
The American Church falters and it grows more and more obvious that it does so without a clue.
My reading to day was from Jeremiah 8, so I will continue on this theme of refusing to repent because it runs parallel to our own day.
It’s probably an apocryphal story, but I do love it:
According to a popular story that has circulated for a long time, a well known London newspaper in the early part of the twentieth century (usually stated to be The Times) asked the question “What is wrong with the world?” and received many replies. The shortest was from G.K. Chesterton, simply consisting of “I am.”