Waiting on God

This week, millions of people all over the world will celebrate Easter.  It is the highest of all holy days on the Christian calendar, but as a foreign born friend of mine commented: "Americans spend more time and energy observing Halloween than Easter".  It is not the highlight of the year for most Americans who identify themselves as Christians.

I believe that part of this resistance is that Americans deeply resist the concept of redemptive suffering.  We can get behind redemptive violence (using violence to bring about justice), redemptive power (using influence to bring about justice), but redemptive suffering is something foreign to the American Christian psyche.  We will kill and manipulate for the glory of God and the rescue of man, but we will not die for either, unless it is in the attempt to do the former.

Jesus challenges us, as His disciples, to pick up our cross.  The cross represents that cruelty and oppression of the world redeemed by the power of God triumphant.  It means bearing the burden of others while refusing to resort to the methods of the world.  It means feeding the hungry, even if it means changing our lifestyles.  It means helping areas ravaged by violence, even if there are no resources to exploit or profit to be made.  It means that God's power to bless the world is made perfect in our complete weakness (II Corinthians 12:9) and dependence on him.  I know that this sounds radical, but this is the truth and the scandal of the cross.

Jesus rescued humanity by demonstrating a love that was self-sacrificing.  He brought about forgiveness for the oppressors and liberaton for the oppressed.  He could have destroyed the oppressors violently and placed the oppressed in political and military power, but his goal was to bless humanity, not a part of humanity.

We celebrate Easter this week because Jesus is alive, despite the death and destruction of humanity.  It is this resurrection power that is evident in his people when pick up our cross and begin to conquer in peace.  Our weapons are not bombs, bullets, or bonds, but self-sacrificing love which is unstoppable, conquering all, including death.

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the Life.  Lets celebrate His way!   Lets celebrate the truth of His Way.  Lets celebrate and experience his life and its power to overcome the greatest darkness!

Have a great week,

Pastor M Traylor