Over the centuries, beginning with Ignatius’ letters in the second century, this crucial aspect of the church gave way to the surrounding culture, so that one of Christianity’s distinctives was eroded to mere words, tucked away here and there among the gospels and epistles.
Inexorable fate had not predestined Judas to treachery. Judas did not have to betray Jesus. Instead, every step of the way, he was free to make a moral choice between good and evil.
If we as Christians operate from the worldly flow chart, where there are those who command and run the show, and there are those who only get to obey, then those at the top of the flow chart have made themselves to be greater than their Master.
Jesus was teaching a completely new way of approaching how his disciples—and all who would come after them—were to understand authority: Tangible love, patient help, and mutuality.
How do you teach people who eat, breath, and live hierarchy that the kingdom of God is about equality not rank, family not a flowchart, kinship not kings? Well, you wash their feet.
There is no question that every person has been both a victim of others’ wrongdoing and an agent of wrongdoing in our own right. There is much each one of us has to ask forgiveness for. And there is much that was done to us, that only the Savior can redeem, at this point.
And the full extent of love is to recognize that wherever the church stands is holy ground, for there is the very Body of Christ, the presence of the Presence, the embodiment of God the Son.
How can one person, how can I bring God’s grace, Jesus’ healing love and transforming power into such a broken and hurting nation?