Year A - Epiphany 3 or Guiding Gift3
January 26, 2014
“United in the same purpose” is a rallying cry of prophets attempting to blow open a rigidified religion and of priests attempting to narrow faith to rules. It is no little thing, though, to ask about the purpose of unity.
A call for “unity” usually comes with a threat of “schism”. Those two are used in tandem to keep everyone off-balance. If you want a contemporary view of how these rallying cries are used, purchase and read a just released book that is already sold-out at Amazon: Queer Clergy: A History of Gay and Lesbian Ministry in American Protestantism. You can also get an autographed copy directly from the author R. W. (Obie) Holmen. Here you will find documentation about how the “gatekeepers” of the church alternately use “Unity” and “Schism” as propaganda tools to perpetuate the power of the past against resurrectional sightings leading us past the past. My review of this book is found here.
Now, back to the text. Christ can’t help but be divided if Christ is to minister to all the different realities in people’s lives and the life of the world. It is exactly this variation that led to the crucifixion of Jesus. So many saw the way Jesus treated others differently than they would that he was a universal affront. There was no way to control the power of a steadfastly loving G*D than to deny it and the ultimate denial we have available to us is death.
Do you want the cross to have power? Constraining or liberating?
The power of the cross turns out to be no power. The power is not in a cross but in a life lived in response to lives. The power is in a process of becoming wholier than our present wholeness, or “being saved” (not once and always saved). Remember back to the Matthew passage for this day and the processes of “proclaiming” and “healing”.