Last week’s lesson was all about the Resurrection. Those in power always fear the resurrection because it takes away the sting of their greatest weapon, death. To live as resurrection people is to be unafraid of pain, suffering, and even death. In short, faith in the resurrection means that we can be free to be unafraid to lose.
To understand the power of resurrection, we must not forget the power of the cross. We are to be cruciform people, shaped by obedience to Christ and his command to take up our crosses and follow him. That is why Paul tells the Phillipians, “Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God depends on faith; that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his suffering, cecoming like him in his death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”
Father Stephen Freeman once noted that the whole history of the church, its path through time, has been a manifestation of the Cross. The occasional “triumphs” of the church measured in earthly standards come most often in the times when the church is most compromised and unfaithful to the Gospel.
What does that mean for us at Christ Church? Well, to start, we must remember that we are called to obedience and not necessarily effectiveness. It’s easy to get discouraged when a program we employ or a new idea we try out doesn’t appear to bear fruits. I, as much as anyone else, know the feeling of disappoint when something doesn’t work out. Even in our failures, we can have confidence that our Lord knows the same feeling of rejection and apparent failure. Because of this, we can be unafraid of failure which gives us strength to preach the Gospel even if we are rejected or persecuted for doing so. As long as we are obedient to Christ, who knows what fruit we might bear even in unexpected ways! We can be confident that, as resurrection people, we can carry our crosses in quiet confidence that our Lord carries his own beside us…and that is an encouraging thought.
Kyrios Christos, Deacon Dave