“Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied.” Matthew 27:11
These last few hours have been telling as to the state of the Church, our Nation and the globe. Yesterday was packed with truth and today, as our celebrations seem only to sustain the status quo, I am even more deeply moved, given the point at which I opened the scriptures this a.m..
Just has Judas delivered his prize, only to discover that his intended purposes facilitated the very opposite, so too might our actions fail to deliver what we had hoped for our own children without prayer and prophetic follow through.
As a new grandfather, there is an urgency that may have been missed somewhat my first time around as a father. Then, I was preoccupied with earning a living or at least positioning myself and my family so that they might have a future. Now I grasp the innocence and potential for change far more deeply each time I look into John Luther’s eyes or receive those unsolicited smiles.
All those emotions compound more recent Aha’s, which before might have felt less threatening to my family, the Church at large and our nation. To quote the man whose life we celebrate today: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” MLK,Jr.
Yesterday, I was confronted with the changes that the Church is facing, such as Globalization and Post Nationalism, Urbanization and the theft of individual time; post denominationalism (a good thing); the changing economy and the coming job war. Just a few of the hurdles that will require great adjustment from neighborhoods to nations!
I had a chance to participate in a “Kneel In” and watched the next generation, summarized by an elder friend with words now decades old as “being sick and tired of being sick and tired.” These are words that imply a rightful and welcomed transformation now long overdue.
Yet the way we tend to handle reform is less than revolutionary! These writings by Carl Wendell Hines in 1965 seem prophetic:
“Now that he is safely dead, Let us praise him, Build monuments to his glory, Sing hosannas to his name. Dead men make such convenient heroes: They cannot rise to challenge the images We would fashion from their lives. And besides, it is easier to build monuments Than to make a better world. So, now that he is safely dead We, with eased consciences will teach our children That he was a great man… Knowing that the cause for which he lived… is still a cause. And the dream for which he died… is still a dream….a dead man’s dream.”
I am reminded of what Christianity has done to the cross. We first incorporated it into our religious regalia, then necklaces that centuries later have simply become a part of our “bling.” As one pawn shop merchant is quoted, upon offering an assortment of necklaces to a customer: “Would you like a plain cross or one with a little man on it?”
I also watched my first beheading yesterday, a mistake perhaps on my part? A pleading, Saudi woman was dragged to the streets by her local police and clumsily beheaded by a man dressed in sheik like attire, all caught on cellphone videoed live! Was that a wake of call as to how cruel political men in power can become, even the religious, if good men do nothing?
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
And from another King:
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – Jesus, of Nazareth.