A Call to Risk

A Call to Risk

by the Very Rev. Clifford Haggenjos, Rector of St. John's, Roseville and Dean of the Central Deanery

I will admit that these past few weeks I have been somewhat enthralled by the recent shift in leadership in both the Roman Catholic Church as well as our own Anglican Communion. Both Pope Francis and Archbishop Welby have called the church to a life of prayer, as well as a renewed understanding that God desires us to be protectors of each other, especially the poor and vulnerable in our midst. To act in such a way requires courage, and a willingness to be led by God to the place where the self-sacrificial love of Jesus Christ leads us to embody the church that God desires us to be.

Such a message is particularly important for us to hear as we once again embark upon our annual remembrance of the transforming love of Jesus Christ during this very Holy Week. As we travel with our Lord, greeting his arrival in Jerusalem with shouts of celebration, we are soon confronted with the fact that the kingdom he proclaims is, in reality, a kingdom unlike the one we experience in our daily lives. As such, we are drawn toward Calvary, and the realization that Christ beckons us to die to those things that prevent us from living into the ministry of reconciliation to which we have been called by God.

In his inaugural sermon Archbishop Welby reminds us that “the church transforms society when it takes the risks of renewal when in prayer, of reconciliation and of confident declaration of the good news of Jesus Christ.” Such is the call of our Lord, Jesus Christ, to us. Through his death on the cross and his subsequent resurrection Christ beckons us to take risks of renewal, to see the world, not through our own eyes, but rather, through the eyes of the one who, as he hung on the cross was able to pray, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.”

The transforming love of Jesus Christ, evidenced by his death on the cross and subsequent resurrection, provokes us to see our world anew, to have the courage to take the risk to live our lives differently than the world desires. We are called by Christ to care for one another, to sacrifice for one another, to love one another, and in the process we find our own lives wonderfully and beautifully transformed.

This Holy Week my prayer is that all of us will heed this renewed call to risk our lives for the sake of the gospel. My hope is that working together we will begin to provoke the world into the outrageous act of reconciliation. We are being called by God to act. We are called by God to witness. We are called by God to proclaim. May we have the ears to hear, the eyes to see and the hearts to love. May each of us experience a renewed sense of our Lord’s transforming love, and may each of us share that love with each other and with the world.

1 comment (Add your own)

1. The Rev. Ted Ridgway wrote:
Thanks, Cliff+, for the encouragement. Ted+

Wed, March 27, 2013 @ 1:02 PM

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