Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


The Passion

In tomorrow's Gospel reading, the longest Gospel reading of the year, we hear of Jesus' passion, which means "suffering." The Rev. Kirk Alan Kubicek is rector of St. Peter's Church in Ellicott City, Maryland wrote in a sermon for tomorrow at The Episcopal Church website that,
Jesus is the chosen one of God who has displayed his power over demons and disease, who chose to serve and refused to avoid suffering and even death on a cross.


Because all those things that we decry as the power of sin in our world and in our lives, even death itself, will not be overcome by force. They will only be overcome by the service and ransom of the very one, the only one, who needs neither to serve nor to pay off any debt.

Could this have been done any other way? Perhaps it could have, if we could live lives without suffering and sin and death; which, of course, is another way of saying, “No.”

What we see in Mark’s version of this narrative is a Jesus who does not so much defeat death but rather refuses to avoid it. His forsaken cry from the cross should not be tempered into anything but a true cry of desperation that echoes the truth of the pains we experience in our lives – individually, as well as collectively as the church, as a community, and as a nation.

Make no mistake about it, this entire narrative takes place within the context of an international military and political occupation and conflict. Jesus rises above the petty political, religious, and military background noise. He literally is raised above it all on the cross. He defeats sin through bearing sin. He defeats death by dying on a cross.

In Christ crucified we begin to experience authentic life. Such life is not easy in a world still mad with power and prestige, a world that wants to sell a path of service to others as a commodity to be purchased rather than as a life lived like Jesus lived his. It’s a good thing the good news can only be given away!
The full text of his sermon is online here: Palm Sunday, Year B



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