This morning I found myself immersed in the ocean of this wonderful reminder from Fr. Richard Rohr and the Center for Action and Contemplation:
"The revelation of the death and resurrection of Jesus
forever redefines what success and winning mean,
and it is not what any of us wanted or expected."
Nice reminder at the near dawn of Holy Week, isn't it?
What most of the Christian Church in all its varied communions has preferred throughout the centuries, however, is a Jesus...a Savior...who rides into the human experience on a white horse. Which is why it is not a little disconcerting when instead he appears on Palm Sunday riding on a dumb ass.
But we remain hopeful. The crowds are big on Palm Sunday. The music is grand. The palms wave, the strobes flash, and attendance is large enough to stroke the ego of any pastor.
We want a Jesus who is "hip and cool." And, baby, we got one...
Were it not for the pesky "rest of the story."
No, in case you have not quite figured out what Christianity is all about, may I suggest you go back and read the story.
Christianity is all about losing. Jesus failed at his mission. He came, by his own admission, "to seek and to save the lost." What he got was a cross instead.
Which explains why it is that losers, more often than winners, love this Jesus. They "get" Him, just as He does them.
Christianity is not about being # 1, so you can stop the charade of genuflecting in the end field when you or your team scores a touchdown. Or wins a game to move on toward the Sweet 16.
I say it again to be certain I have sufficiently offended every "winner" possible.
Christianity isn't about winning...it isn't about being # 1. In fact, just about the opposite of everything you and I are taught to value in America, Christianity embraces. Lifts up as the ideal even.
Which explains why Christians have had a hard time throughout history following the Jesus of Good Friday.
Which is why crowds are always larger on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday than on Good Friday, too.
Who wants Good Friday? Even the name contradicts itself.
Yet, for all with eyes to see, were it not for Good Friday, ...
You can kiss goodbye to either of the other days.
Christianity is Good News to losers, a "ball-n-chain" very often to winners.
Losers can see it, however. And, it's enough for them.
Hail to Life's Losers...
Jesus never had better friends, than the one's in "low places."
Ahead of Easter 2017, The Huffington Post South Africa is delving into what faith and spirituality means to South Africans here and now. Against the backdrop of a renewed wave of thought around decolonisation, a new generation are rediscovering their traditional beliefs, while some are reconciling with Christianity. And on another note, we tell South Africa's real good news story: our remarkable and peaceful religious diversity. In a world fractured along religious extremism, we have a large Christian population with significant Muslim and Jewish communities, who often come together peacefully and with purpose, as has been evinced at the memorials for departed struggle stalwart, Ahmed Kathrada. Read the rest of the special report here, or choose from our selection below:
- Decolonising Faith: Here's How Some Africans Are Rediscovering Their Ancestors And Spirituality
- Sipho Hlongwane: I Was Taught Not To Remember My Grandfather. This Is Why I Do.
- South Africa's Untold Success Story: A Christian's Nation's Peaceful History With A Muslim Minority
- It's Nearly Easter: Here's What You Need to Know In The Run Up