For God so loved the World…
April 9, 2006
Original Post Date: 4/9/2006
Entering this Holy Week, what has been on my mind is the broken-ness of this world.
Yesterday, I drove by a schoolyard– one I pass everyday. A homeless person was sitting out in the middle of the grass in a wheelchair, wrapped up in so many blankets that you could not even see the person inside. She/he was there when I drove by at 10:00 in the morning and there when I drove by at 4:00 that afternoon in exactly the same place. I wondered briefly if I should do something – but what would I do? Who would I call? Where would I take this person? Did she or he want to be helped? The easiest thing to do was to say a prayer instead, hoping that somehow this person would be ok. Feeling guilty about my inaction, that is what I did, wondering how the wealthiest society on the planet can have such a huge homeless problem. I was saddened at the broken-ness of the world, the sin of humanity– corporate sin.
My church has been criticized for its "open communion" policy. We let everyone come forward for communion, with an invitation that I love: "Whoever you are, and wherever you are on your journey of faith, there is a place for you at this table." Some think that this downplays the importance of this Holy Week, of the fall of humankind, of sin, of repentance. I think quite the opposite. I think it shows the big-ness of next week – of the healing power of the resurrection, of God's Grace, that through God all things are possible no matter how much we might screw them up.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him." John 3:16-17
I can see why Christian football fans everywhere have become so enamored with this verse. It is very strong, very powerful. God loves the whole world. We are all invited to come forward to share in the communal cup; to partake in the offering of Christ's body and blood; to experience the relationship of the New Covenant.
Only in this openness, in this acceptance, can we move towards allowing the brokenness to be made whole throught Christ; to allow our sin to move out of the way so that the Spirit can do its work; to be receptive to the movement of the piece of God that dwells within each of us and allows us to do His work. And if that happens– when that happens– maybe there won't be any more people sitting in wheelchairs in the middle of schoolyards, because we will be less busy talking about what we agree and disagree on and more busy doing the work Christ calls us to do in the world around us.