Christians are fond of saying that they are Easter people. We say we have a spring-time faith. We are about new life springing forth.
What we tend to forget is that before spring can happen, autumn must come. Before new life can spring forth, something must die. Before Easter could arrive, someone had to pick up and carry a cross.
We have many difficult issues facing our country today. According to a recent poll by the Associated Press, only 24% of Americans believe we are heading the right direction. The status quo seems to be dividing us further, emboldening the hate among us, and leading us into a nuclear winter.
Christians have responded in typical fashion.
Some Christians have embraced the status-quo, for change is too uncomfortable. They have chosen to live in denial with blind eyes, deaf ears and hard hearts.
More Christians understand that our nation is heading in the wrong direction, but they have made the decision to tune it all out and do nothing to try to change anything. They have chosen to retreat into safe sanctuaries to sing about Easter and going to heaven.
However, if Jesus chose comfort and safety, if Jesus embraced or ignored the status quo, Easter could not happen.
I believe the time has come for Christians to rediscover our call to be autumn people.
The time has come to let the old ways of being Christian die. Like the leaves of a tree, we must let our old ways of self-preservation, our old ways denial and retreat, fall to the ground and be swept away.
The time has come for us to pick up and carry a cross. The time has come for us to risk something, sacrifice something, and do something. We must depart the safety and the comfort of our sanctuaries to stand against evil, liberate the oppressed, rescue the perishing, and speak truth to power.
We must be willing to sacrifice something for justice, lose something for kindness, give away something for peace, die to something for love.
For it is in losing we find. It is in dying we live. It is in being autumn people we become Easter people.