Easter 7 :: May God’s Name be Known

“I have made your name known…”

Scotland 2013 596

Oban, Scotland

It has now been almost two thousand years—two millennia, 20 centuries, two hundred decades, many months of Sundays—since the Jesus event. I wonder what of God’s name is still known? Or, rather, has God’s name been made known, is God’s name still being made known in the way Jesus made it known? How much of God’s name is our projection of Who and What we want/desire/expect/demand God to be, and how much of God’s name is truly the God Jesus showed us God to be?

These are not just the silly ponderings of an aging priest! These are real life-and-death questions.

You see, so much of the time, the God that gets proclaimed to the world is a god we would like to see: loving, to us, not our enemies; compassionate, to us, not to those who’ve done us wrong; salvific, to us, not to those who don’t think/believe/behave the way we do. We construct a god of our own desires. This is a god who hates the ones we hate and who punishes the ones we think deserve punishment and consigns to Hell the ones we would send there. We even call on the name of this god to help us in the wars we fight and and lotteries we want to win and we put the name of this god on the currency we use. We say this god is on our side [not yours] blesses our country [not yours] and brings to prosperity those [not you] who blindly follow the men and women who claim to be prophets of this god. But is this the God whose name Jesus has made/is still making known? 

Hardly.

The God whose name Jesus made known is a God who shows us what real love is by taking on the pain and sorrow of the world. This is a God who takes away our shame and guilt and tells us we no longer need put that shame and guilt onto others. The God of Jesus Christ is not the kind of God the world wants, desires, expects, or demands. God is the kind of God the world desperately needs.

Link to RCL Lectionary for the 7th Sunday of Easter


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