Thursday, June 28, 2007

Ridin' the Rollercoaster

The struggles in Anglican Christianity make church life like a roller coaster ride - sometimes exhilarating but just as often frightening and even nauseating.

But we are in good company. Talk about some "highs":
  • St. John the Baptist was formed in the womb to proclaim the Savior's arrival, and leapt in his mother's womb when she met with the mother of Jesus.
  • John baptized Jesus, saw the Spirit descend like a dove and heard the heavenly Father's voice say, "This is my Son, the beloved."
  • John identified Jesus as "The Lamb of God."
  • John had the clarity and confidence to say, "Jesus is greater than I. I must decrease, and he must increase."
But even John had his moments of doubt - the lows. One of our morning readings today is Luke 7:18-35. Even with all of God's anointing and signs, John wavered about whether or not Jesus really was the Savior.

John sent some of his own disciples to ask Jesus for reassurance. Jesus did not get angry with them or accuse them of waffling. Rather, the Lord:
  • Did a series of healings in their presence.
  • Reminded them of other signs he was performing on the earth.
  • Sent them back to John with words of reassurance.
  • Publically praised John's ministry and witness.

The bad experiences many of us have had with TEC and its terrible leadership can lead us to profound "lows." We might wonder if we are crazy, or if Jesus really cares at all about what's going on.

But Jesus' response is to speak praise and comfort for all of us who, with John, ride the roller coaster as we follow the Savior:

"For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he."

Jesus, Lamb of God, help us to rejoice that we are among the least in the kingdom, and great because we are yours. Amen.

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