February 2017 From the Minister’s View
So when someone goes off message and that someone is a minister, dust tends to fly from the roof space, people think ‘that’s not cricket’. Others become embarrassed and some become critical.
But think on this; Jesus contrary to myth was not always in celebratory frame of mind. He shared his disappointments on the subject of disciples; people who were unbelieving, money changers and religious leaders. He wept over Jerusalem and cried out to his own Father. Jesus was real and a comfort to those who find being perfect a strain. And his demeanour was not enhanced in his ministry when he noted how far people were from a sense of sacrifice in their faith. For all the miracles, teaching and the suffering he would endure people were going to sniff and basically say ‘I don’t have to do that’. People saying they know better must come rather hard when you created them. Who do we think we are.
We see in the story of the rich young ruler that Jesus was calm about choice, the young man decided his wealth meant more to him than following God. The rich man had not taken on faith as his compass, he had made a bad choice. But it was his choice to make. For those who choose faith sacrifice is required and expected. Jesus speaks of taking up their cross. A legitimate question for many congregations could be ‘where is your cross’.
So, what made the clergyman ‘a rabbit of negative euphoria’ = not a happy bunny? Well it came down to the standard package of white collar annoyance. The church was self serving, no one was too bothered if things happened or not. Also someone kept parking in the minster’s space (how dreadful). But what really got him fired up was their decision to have a barn dance on Maundy Thursday in the church hall. He thought that was going too far, most of us would think the same. You do wonder what got them from a Maundy evening service and Lenten reflection to a do-si-do. It was as if they were covering over the horror of the event, looking away with embarrassment. Perhaps they didn’t feel it had relevance to them.
If we become detached from the grief of crucifixion we are not going to experience the joy of resurrection. We are not going to appreciate the impact of Christ’s return. When we get the importance of sacrifice we will notice the grace, forgiveness and wonder of a man coming back from the dead not to seek vengeance but to show his love for all.
What a Saviour! What sacrifice!
So to them and everyone else, the question is simple “where is your cross”.