Thursday, June 4, 2020

Getting turned inside out

This is normally the Sunday you let the junior member of the Clergy preach. Why? Because they will note that it is Trinity Sunday. In noting that it is Trinity Sunday they will take on the monumental task of trying (in one sermon no less!) to explain God and how God is God, being three beings and yet one God. What I have come to discover is something simple: God has revealed himself as Father, Son and Spirit and that they are indeed 3 persons, one God. As such, we need to recognize that the commission that we undertake is from God, with God and for God’s sake. We need to see how we as individuals and as a community fit into this mission and how we are chosen, called, blessed, and sent by Christ, in Christ and for Christ and his kingdom.

The Godhead works together in community to make redemption and salvation possible and available to all those who will come in the response to God’s call upon them and their lives. “For those God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined He also called; those He called He also justified; those He justified He also glorified. What then shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:29-31 ESV) 

What I believe is important in look at and considering God is not the mental math we try to wind ourselves in because we have to figure God out. Rather God wants us to God as a community of mission working out the redemption and salvation of the creation that God loves and created, that he might be with them and enjoy them forever.

The feasts of Ascension and of Pentecost (and of Easter as well) that the work of the Church is to multiply the efforts that Jesus himself was making. The Church is to reach out into the world and draw into its fellowship, those who are called and bring them in. So in a real sense, this is the day that the Church gets turned inside out so that we can work at turning the world right side up again. Maybe you think that I might have slipped there. I did not. You see, the world when it fell from its original grace into the sin with the ensuing chaos, destruction, and death, it fell like a piece of bread you have just buttered on to the floor, butter side down. God has reached down to pick us up and there is still the need to clean up the floor. That is where the Church comes in.

We are the Body of Christ and we are called to participate in the drawing of people into relationship with Christ through the life of Christ at work in all of us as the Church. As Bonhoefffer once said, ““The Church is the Church only when it exists for others... not dominating, but helping and serving. It must tell men of every calling what it means to live for Christ, to exist for others.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer,  Letters and Papers from Prison. And I think it needs to be said that trying to be rational, or philosophical is not going to do the job we are asked to do. We need to be a part of the revelation and the experience of living for God and with Christ through the Spirit.

In this moment, we go from being inside, in the upper room, hiding in the dark, fearful what happens next and praying we are not found out. Now we go from being in that room to be outdoors knowing and understanding that we live in perilous times and in a wound and broken Church. How do I know that? We live in a world where we see 20-25 seconds of a 9 minute video and suddenly the world is a fire for all of the injustices in the world. Have you noticed? What about the store owner or manager that called the police to come for Floyd George and the cashier that was handed a potentially fake bill? Why have they not been considered for anything? What about the person who took the 9 minute (8 minutes and 46 seconds) of video and stood there while another human being dies and no one is offended by that. How come? And lastly the wife of the police officer who immediately filed for divorce: did she do it to avoid the media glower? Did she do it to protect the property she has in case things go badly to protect the lives of their children?

Not that long ago, we remember that Good Day when Jesus died of asphyxiation. We recalled the pain, the darkness, and the suffering on that hill, not just of Jesus but of others as well. We can evoke the silence and the fear of the Saturday that leads into the joy, wonder and amazement of Easter morning. The questions remain before us though: what is our next move? We are called. We are chosen. We are blessed and we are sent. And as Archbishop Rowan Williams would point out, “The hardest place to be is where we are.” Are we staying in or getting out there?


No comments:

Post a Comment