Easter 4 – Year B
Echoes of Baptism.
I have received authority – the authority of belovedness. I will be cared for, come hell or high water, first wilderness temptation or last crucifixion temptation. In this beloved care I can be bold to choose to pick up more life and to put down more life. The life I put down may not be anywhere equivalent to a life picked up, if similar it is as different as a river stepped into twice; if some other aspect of life is picked up it may not even come close to what was laid down.
This is my birthright as a creature of the cosmos standing at this end of a gene pool – to choose. "Hired hands" and "sheep" still need to move toward healthy choices, but witnessing to choices available to me is important whether the hired hands or the sheep can yet recognize it or follow. This is part of Ezekiel's watcher-on-the-wall heritage – to call out what is seen regardless of other's response.
This authority to choose need not separate us from one another, but further engage us as we see the consequences of a choice farther into the future than usual. With boldness we proceed to choose, to take the consequences, to trust.