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The Power of Love

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Like some virulent epidemic, terror plagues our world. Every two or three days we hear of another deadly outbreak: Alexandria, Orlando, London, Manchester, Paris, San Bernardino, Berlin, Nice, Charleston …. While the motives range from politics, religion, and race and the means vary from rifles, knives, bombs, cars and trucks, the intent is always the same: terror. The attackers, for their different agendas, all want to instill fear.

The Romans wanted to do the same when they crucified Jesus. They reserved crucifixion for slaves and insurrectionists, placing crosses next to the busiest highways to cow any would-be challengers. While we view Jesus as a humble rabbi who taught love, Imperial Rome saw him as a rabble-rouser whose popular following posed a threat to its power. The cross constituted what today we would call state terrorism.

Three days after his death, the risen Christ’s first words to his disciples, cowering in fear behind locked doors, were “Peace be with you” (John 20:19). If Good Friday’s terror seemed to render God impotent, Easter’s resurrection revealed, “God does reign after all,” as Lesslie Newbigin puts it.

This Sunday, when Bishop Anne visits us at Grace, we will celebrate our new organ, our fathers, and our new members. But we will also celebrate that God does reign! In the face of terror, we will testify to the power of love. Be sure to be there.

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Monday, 25 September 2017