“Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.” (Luke 6:26)
I’m going to take the liberty of ignoring my writing assignment for the day. Let’s talk full-on about Eastertide. Tomorrow, we can go back to the woes.
Like everyone else I know, I’ve been disturbed by the news recently. I think this is true for liberals, conservatives, the whole lot. We can all see great chasms of separation in our society, no matter our preferences or perspectives. And, yet, through all this, we proclaim that Christ is risen.
Whether or not we are in the Paris Agreement, Jesus is Lord. Whether or not we have a border wall, Jesus is Lord. If Clinton had been elected, Jesus would have been Lord. With President Trump in office, Jesus is Lord.
I’m not at all saying that our differences and challenges don’t matter. Quite the opposite, in fact. God is in the hope business. Easter morning manifests for us the sovereignty of God and God’s love. It is the very act of liberating us from our fears, from our sins, and from death itself. So when we look at the world, I think we have to see that God is on the side of all those who live in captivity to fear and sin. The scriptures teach us that from the beginning of creation, God has relentlessly sought us. God offers us salvation – healing, wholeness, liberation, eternal life – again and again.
So liberals shouldn’t give up hope because Trump is in power. Conservatives shouldn’t give up hope because liberals refuse to go away. Use your own examples if you don’t like those. Even if we are facing death itself, we must have hope.
We don’t sit back and imagine that God will sort out our problems, but we also don’t need to think that it’s all up to us. The task for us Christians, then, becomes the proclamation of hope. That proclamation of hope might be a Facebook post. It might be a warm meal for a hungry person. It might be a decision to cut back our carbon footprint, to change our habits of life, for the sake of the planet. It might be an invitation to someone to follow Jesus. But whatever we do, for the love of God, let us not lose our hope. Let us not fail to proclaim the hope that is within us.
Alleluia, Christ is risen! How will your life show forth Easter glory today?
P.S. If you begin to be a real Easter Christian, people will talk. See there? I fulfilled my writing assignment after all.
Scott Gunn is an Episcopal priest and executive director of Forward Movement, a ministry that seeks to inspire disciples and empower evangelists. He lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with his spouse, Sherilyn Pearce, who is also priest, and their social media canine, George T. Dog. Scott blogs at www.sevenwholedays.org.