July 2014

and is seated at the right hand...

I believe we can do a lot better if we spend less time telling people and more time showing them who Jesus is and what he can do. Being seated at the right hand of the Father is just another way of saying that Jesus is as God is and Jesus does as God does. And if we don't use up all our energy arguing about exactly what that means, we can do a much better job of showing the rest of the world that Jesus loves as God loves. And that's the answer the world is ready for.

On the third day...

What Paul wants is for all of us to be free for life. Let all the death die in you: the old self that serves nothing but the self; the old sins that just keep causing new sickness; the old fears that are never going to face new realities; the old blindness that sees the violence but keeps silent. You can't let any of this death have dominion over you, if you want to be with Christ. Resurrection means that whatever bad has happened to you, whatever awful choices you have made, however many horrible people have hurt you, none of it has any power over you. Because he defeated death, because he rose on the third day, you are dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. [6:11]

he descended into hell

The early Christians figured that if there were no salvation outside the church, then they were going to have to bring more folks inside the church. And that's what the Creed does. It includes all those poor souls who just happened to miss out on the Messiah. By including this line in the Creed about Jesus descending into hell, ancient Christians extended the boundaries of the Church into the past. And that's important for us to know, because a lot of Christians today want to expand the Church in the present.

Christ and Country

This hymn has been one of my favorites ever since I encountered it as the opening hymn of the 1982 General Convention of the Episcopal Church. Thrilled at having been elected a delegate to our church's national convention—and thinking that that might be a start to a kind of political career in the national church—I thrilled at the stirring words and melody of the hymn, and it has stirred and moved me ever since.