Our readings this Sunday tackle some uncomfortable aspects of our journey to and with God. We’re asked to stay faithful in the face of conflict, opposition and persecution. Responding to God’s call and following Jesus’s path can hold joy, the unleashing of possibility and a deeper experience of love than we might ever have dared to name as our desire. It can also include stretches of pain, rupture of relationships and risk to what’s comfortable in our lives. What keeps us true and courageous during these darker stages of the journey?
Jeremiah describes his bones burning within him when he tries to stifle his response to God’s call. Paul reminds us that our baptism must begin with Jesus’s death, to fully partake in the life of glory and liberation beyond. Jesus himself shares the unwelcome news that Love’s call to Justice can set off discord and conflict as surely as a war chant. He still asks us to tell the full truth, “in the light… proclaim[ed] from the housetops.” He knows that our bones will burn within us if we do any less.
“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” This quote from the Gospel of Thomas speaks to us now as loudly as it did nearly two thousand years ago. What must you say to be God’s voice in the world?
Carol James has been part of the cathedral community for over a decade. She has served as a co-mentor in the Education for Ministry program. She currently leads the evening prayer providers in our Jail Ministry and is a cathedral staff member.