April -- 2019
As we make our way into Holy Week and Easter season, here are three theologians that may spark your imagination and touch your heart.
Once when we were in Oklahoma, they announced a tornado was coming. We stood out in the front yard and watched the tornado, and the weatherman was right— it was coming. We watched it move, and we thought it would change directions. Then we saw that it was not going to change directions, it was going to get our house. So, we cranked up the car and started out of the driveway. “Oh, no! Where’s Gretchen?” Gretchen was this little old sausage dog; she was old. She wouldn’t bring anything on the market. Here comes a tornado, and we take time to go back in and get Gretchen. Now we’re reaching the level of stupidity. The shepherd had a little enclosure out in the desert. He brings the sheep in, but there are wolves and there are cougars. The shepherd lies down across the gate thinking, Anything that gets to the sheep will have to come by me. Now, we’re approaching something hard. What’s the name for this? The name for it is love.
Presbyterian Minister: Shannon Johnson Kershner
For our risen Savior knows that the only way to shake us into Easter newness is to call our name one way or another. So our eyes might be opened to the sun that is starting to rise, so we might remember the darkness does not last forever, so we are reminded that it is precisely when we are in the darkness, surrounded by the shadows of Good Friday, eyes tired from weeping, souls weary from fighting, that it is precisely out of that kind of stuff that Easter always rises. In the midst of the darkness, in the midst of the chaos and grief, in the midst of hell and brokenness, in the midst of utter hopelessness, in the midst of a Good Friday world, in the midst of God-forsakenness, in the midst of all that - our testimony standing at the empty tomb with Mary is that our God is still at work, and Easter always rises. God does some of God’s best stuff in the dark. Always has, always will.
And finally, Steven Charleston, former Bishop of the Diocese of Alaska
Why do you believe there is a God? That’s a fair question and one that we can all answer for ourselves, but let me share a thought that may stir your own spiritual imagination: I believe because of my experience. My faith is not grounded in what I wish to be true, but in what I experience as true. Like a scientist, I depend on the pragmatic results of my own evidence. I report what I have seen and heard with my own eyes and ears, what I have observed to be repeated over and over. I believe because I continue to experience a force, a presence, a love I cannot deny, but only acknowledge, with a grateful heart.