(This article first appeared in the March 2017 issue of the Anglican Journal.)
In the man from Galilee, God becomes the exploited, inferior, impure, enslaved human being—not to approve of this condition and just make us feel good because we are crushed but to lead us out of this destructive spiral of evil”—Virgilio Elizondo, A God of Incredible Surprises: Jesus of Galilee.
As God becomes human in Jesus of Galilee, this saving event, its power and example, is aimed at a salvation that is more than just forgiveness and more than just a promise of a better life in the future. The scope of our new life is so much more than mere comfort. It is a pathway to a life of freedom from the forces of this world that condemn and oppress.
The Good News we proclaim announces and enacts a liberation from the demons that haunt and hunt our souls: suicide, addictions, war and poverty. Its scope is both personal and communal; it promises help and hope in an individual way and in a community way. Those who follow the Good News pathway are taking the first steps toward breaking off the chains of despair.
For those who have given up on life, there is the call to hope. Joining with those who have hope, there is the call to help—to participate in the forces unleashed by the death and resurrection of Jesus, forces that confront, confound and condemn those things that harm and destroy life. If you have heard the call, you are part of the movement to life.
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Mark MacDonald is national indigenous bishop of the Anglican Church of Canada.
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