Bridges to (the) Cross.
The theme for this week can be interpreted in various ways. Many have taken the literal route removing the post-modern parentheses. Bridges to the Cross. This way gives one meaning. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was God reconciling us to Godself. In Jesus Christ, God was both revealing who God is and also what it means to be human. The Cross has been used to symbolize that reconciliation. However, including the artistic use of parentheses, one can read the theme differently. Bridges to Cross.
Bridges to Cross and Reconciliation have been so interconnected this week. Reconciliation is what our Christian faith is based on. Reconciliation with God and reconciliation with each other.
The Church faces many challenges today, including the increased awareness and presence of LGBTQ people and issues. As a Church we can no longer remain on this side of the bridge. Like the Israelites who crossed the Jordan, we are called to cross the river of human sexuality. For so long we have tried to cross this bridge using other methods. Silence. Exclusion. Probation. Discipline. We may have thought they worked for a while, but much to our surprise here we are. Still on the same side of the river though possibly in a different place along the river bank.
I believe what is important for approaching this week is that in order to cross these bridges, the Church must do so under the movement of reconciliation. The difficult question is what does this reconciliation look like? The more difficult question would be, what does reconciliation look like in the Church, those called to the ministry of reconciliation? Those called to model reconciliation.
When we are ambassadors of Christ, we are called to witness to reconciliation. My prayer is that this week Mennonite Church USA, which includes all of us regardless of varying positions, can fulfill that call.