The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church recently talked about Staying Power of our Church during the Standing Rock protests. He noticed the dozens and dozens of flags flying on the reservation of the Sioux Nation to represent those standing with the water protectors:
“Of all the nations and peoples who were trying to stand with the people at Standing Rock, I saw it… It was red, white, and a light color blue… I saw it and it was blowing in the wind. It was the flag of the Episcopal Church. But let me tell you about that flag. It was an old, tattered flag; it was new when they put it up, but that Dakota wind was tearing its threads to shreds. It was tattered. It was worn. But it was flying. And the cross at the center of it was there and no one would miss it! It was like that old rugged cross! I saw it! It was the Episcopal Church! No! It was the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement! And the wind could not stop it. The rain could not stop it. Storms could not stop it. Hard times could not stop it. ‘Cause nothing! Nothing can stop the movement of Jesus of Nazareth! If you don’t believe me, ask Pontius Pilate! He tried! And it didn’t work!
We must in our time, we must reclaim a Christianity that actually looks something like Jesus of Nazareth. A Christianity that believes in the Jesus who said blessed are the poor, and the poor in spirit. A Jesus of Nazareth who said blessed are the peacemakers… A Jesus who says from the cross, Father! Forgive them; they know not what they do. The Jesus who says, by this everyone will know that you are my disciples -That you love one another. That’s Jesus. That’s Christianity. It is the Way of the Cross. It is the way of God’s unconditional, unselfish, sacrificial love. And that is the way that will save us all.”*
Are you feeling tattered and worn? Being part of the Jesus Movement may boost your staying power.
* Presiding Bishop Curry made these remarks at the opening session of the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Austin, Texas on July 4: You can listen to the complete speech on YouTube or read it at EpiscopalChurch.org