The Salvation of the Lord

Isaiah 52:7-15

On Earth. Now. Today

Our Lenten pilgrimage has brought us at last to Good Friday – to Golgotha, to the cross, to Christ’s agony and death. For Christians, this day is marked by profound sorrow, by prayer, fasting, and repentance. You and I know that death does not have the final word. We know that on Easter Day today’s tears will be transformed into signs of exquisite joy and gladness as we celebrate Christ’s resurrection and his triumph over death. But if, for this twenty-four hour period of time, we can immerse ourselves fully in the events and emotions of Good Friday, in the sorrow, the suffering, and the self-sacrifice of Christ, perhaps then we will be better able to identify with human longing for good news in the midst of suffering.

On Good Friday, Jesus, fully divine and fully human, suffered an excruciating and painful death. From the cross he cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” On Good Friday, those who had loved and followed Jesus suffered. No longer could they believe that this Jesus, in whom they had placed their hope for freedom from oppression, was the long-awaited Messiah. We can well imagine that they longed, as did the Israelites in Isaiah’s day, for good news.

To Israelites suffering in captivity in Babylon the great prophet Isaiah spoke words of encouragement and hope as he painted a picture of Jerusalem redeemed and restored; a time when “all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.”

Today, many Missourians are suffering, longing for economic dignity, for adequate housing, for sufficient food, for access to affordable health care. Jesus, who stood on the side of the most vulnerable members of society, showed us through his words and actions, that we are to care preferentially for the lost, the last and the least. He taught us to pray, “thy kingdom come, on earth, as it is in heaven.”

On earth. Now. Today.

Jesus’ death and resurrection is not only about eternal life after death but about resurrected life in all its fullness.

On earth. Now. Today.

But God’s kingdom is far from realized in Missouri despite the fact that our state’s motto is “The welfare of the people shall be the supreme law.”

We are at a defining moment in time when our legislators can take decisive action and support Medicaid Expansion. We are at a defining moment in time when our legislators can be the messengers of good news. May we offer unceasing prayer that in this, as in all things, God’s holy and life-giving will may be done.

On earth. Now. Today.

Reverend Susan G. McCann,
Rector, Grace Episcopal Church in Liberty and Board Member, Communities Creating Opportunities

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