Happy Easter! I pray that each of you who read this will find that Resurrection is taking on new meaning for you in some way, large or small, this year—if not today, then in the days and weeks ahead.
I’ve been pondering what it means to follow Jesus, in part because of a significant document I read this week called Reclaiming Jesus. This “Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis” is signed by a remarkable breadth of Christian leadership from across this country. It is clearly aimed at Christians who are allowing politics and tribalism to shape their public expression of faith and reminds me of the concerns many have expressed that we are in an era in many ways similar to the rise of Nazism in Europe—and that we are called, like religious leaders of every age, not to remain silent.
This statement also acknowledges that “the church is always subject to temptations to power, to cultural conformity, and to racial, class, and gender divides.” So many “conservative” Christians have accused “progressive” Christians of having succumbed to “cultural conformity”—and with today’s evangelical political sycophants we are seeing how no one is exempt from this temptation. We are all equally sinners in the eyes, I imagine, of a supremely frustrated God….
This is why we clearly, dearly need, not just Resurrection, but Good Friday as well. We need to follow Jesus to the cross. We need to stand at the foot of the now-empty cross and acknowledge our part in nailing Love to that ancient instrument of torture for criminals. If being and acting with love in the world is considered a criminal act by those in political (and religious) power, then let me be called a criminal. Let me stand with these faithful religious leaders who are calling out for continuity of belief and action. I applaud and celebrate their stance. I intend to join with them, as best I can.
On this Resurrection Sunday, where do you stand?