We stopped risking long ago.

Some risks are plain stupid.  Others absolutely necessary for growth.  Much of faith stopped risking generations ago.  And how do we recapture that, that “risk?’  Not foolish risk but risk necessary for growth? Maybe it is by becoming a loyal opposition within our culture – both the broader, secular culture and the faith culture.

Walter Brueggemann writes of this “opposition” when he speaks of criticism as “not carping and denouncing.  It is asserting that the false claims to authority and power cannot keep their promises, which they cannot in the face of a free God.”  Such criticism in a word reframes the world, a world in which the secular and religious have so bled together that it is hard to see much of an authentic alternative any more in Christianity – the “City Upon a Hill” now leveled into trackless suburbia.

Christianity though is an authentic alternative.  Risky yes.  But also authentic.  Easter very much encapsulates that authentic alternative.  Neat and tidy theological “packages” give way to the mess of crucifixion.   Hatred and hopelessness are met with the authentic alternative of love, grace, and forgiveness – Christ’s lament from the Cross to “Forgive them for know not what they do.”

My prayer is that this Easter be a conversion experience.  My prayer also is that maybe we can re-invite ourselves into a world of risk, and in that process reclaim in some small way the heritage and hope of Christianity – a world made new.   Resurrection and transformation.   Mess and all.


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