Full freedom in utter reliance
The multiple dimensions of the church’s vocation require that true humility attend the living out of our ecclesial identity.
Christians understand this because they know something of the power of powerlessness, the might of weakness, and the wealth of poverty. In their worship and witness, in their mission and service, they are meant to unveil the humility that selflessness breathes.
During this season of the Christian year, we celebrate the resurrection of the one who did not consider equality with God as something to be grasped. Instead, he practiced self-emptying love and so opened the doorway to eternal life for us.
From the cross, the one who calmed the winds, healed the sick and raised the dead stares down at us powerless. He faces the consequences of a travesty of justice. He is wounded for the wrong we did; crushed for our sinful action. He wears the robes of a victim who is helpless before the violence of a misguided mob.
Then comes Easter day! We discover that the man on the cross is victor, not victim. Mercilessly nailed to a cross, he is actually lifted up to draw humankind to God. The one dressed in the rags of powerlessness at the cross actually shows us where to find true power and how to manifest true strength. Not surprisingly, on Easter morning, God raises him from the grave, his mission being accomplished.
We can now affirm that part of the vocation of the church is to model one value that lies at the very heart of our life: humble vulnerability. Jesus’ followers know that the weak can say, “I am strong” and the poor can say, “I am rich.” And this is the result of God’s work in the death and resurrection of our Jesus the Christ.
At Easter, we remember that, where there is weakness, God’s power can be powerfully shown. To believe this is to recognize that full freedom can be found only in utter reliance on the dependable one who is our Savior.
–neville callam, general secretary, Baptist World Alliance