Monday, August 16, 2004

Move On

Recently, someone handed me an article which appeared in the Abilene Paper entitled “Jesus Kept Moving On; We Need to do the Same” by an Episcopal priest, Tom Ehrich.


Nothing stands still.

Moving on is one of life’s great survival skills. Fall out of love? Move on. Lose a treasure? Move on. Fail at something? Move on. Want more from life? Move on…

Religion has the hardest time moving on. Our current battles over homosexuality are just the latest outbreak of self-imprisonment in fear of change…

We cannot find a shrine where time stands still and ultimate truth is always manifest and always the same…

Where will Jesus be found? In the present, not the past. Moving on to someplace new, a new land, a new day in a familiar land, alongside a self straining to be new. Moving on to someplace else--not the tried and true, but onward, toward a promise,
dreaming of wholeness in the midst of brokenness and life in the midst of death.

If you would seek Jesus, hear the angel at the tomb: “He is not here.” He has moved on. So must we.

Instead of moving on, our Savior lingered. Now that he has ascended, we can cling to him. We are the New Jerusalem where there is no Temple. Instead, God dwells with his people. Instead of moving on, we need to linger, to dwell. We need to dwell with the Scriptures and the traditions of the church to hear the whole counsel of the whole Church. Instead of moving on from the controversial issues of the day, we need to dwell with those who are broken by those issues.

“Moving on” is just a cheap rhetorical device. Concern about the poor? Nah, Let’s move on. Concern about concentrated power in the hands of the few? Let’s move on. Jesus moved on. Let us do the same.

The church has two problems. Sometimes, we major in the minors. We have arguments about silly stuff. We make idols out of programs, style, and buildings. At other times, we make idols out of the current fad or even change itself. In either case, idolatry remains idolatry. “Reformed and always reformed” has been our battle cry, but we quickly forget that we are reformed “according to the Word of God.”

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