It is a call to live that out. It is an invitation to do foolish things: Love enemies. Give to those who beg. Invite the people on the street to your Easter dinner. Turn bullets into bread. Dismantle walls and create bridges. Make a world in which you want to have a baby.
I was relieved when I learned that there were two crowds in the Holy Week story. The crowd wasn’t fickle, praising Jesus on Sunday and calling for his death on Thursday. There were two crowds. The crowd that welcomed Jesus with palm branches was made up of those who were poor, who were landless, and who were pushed around. They were the lame, the blind, and the outcast. They also included some who had means and who, perhaps for matters of conscience, identified with them. They saw in Jesus, hope, dignity, and possibility. This crowd was more likely to be lynched than to be cheering on any lynching. For them, crucifixion meant terror, pain, and death, not law and order.
The crowd that cried out for his lynching was made up of the religious leaders and the political leaders, those who had been the enemies of Jesus all throughout his ministry. They are the ones who wanted him dead. They wanted to make of him an example. For them crucifixion was a way to control the other crowd so that their dreams of liberation and dignity wouldn’t mess up the good thing the religious leaders had going with Rome.
Laurie Larson Caesar of Mission of The Atonement gave today’s sermon. She is the last in our Lenten Round Robin Pulpit Exchange. Laurie Larson Caesar is co-pastor of Mission of the Atonement and has been journeying with the community for more than thirteen years. Her Master of Divinity was earned in 1992 at Harvard Divinity […]
“I don’t want to navigate life, especially these perilous times, with my own little tiny wisdom without a guide with greater voices and experience than mine….I would love to see progressive Christians take a stance and take back the Bible.”
Our understanding and image of God changes. “What if it is time to draw a new picture of a God that we admit that we know?”