Easter 4 Year C
After reading this week’s lectionary, I’m considering “how to build a church 101” sermon. Or a “how not to build a church 101” if I can get some laughs out of it.
“Ignore the people around you,” “use Schoenberg for a mass setting.”
In the first passage we read – from Acts of the Apostles – the disciples accomplish amazing wonders, including healing of a bedridden paralytic and the raising of Dorcas, of the unfortunate name, from the dead. Transformation is promised and delivered. Upon seeing the successes of the church, people believe. They believe in the power. Who needs health insurance when you’ve got Jesus!
From this pericope I might discuss power. I believe that Christians are too shy about talking about power. The assumption: “power corrupts.” I’d spend some time looking at different sorts of power – physical power; spiritual power; monetary power. I’d assess the chaotic nature of power, and the power required to create order.
Power from people with the best intentions can have terrible results; and power from individuals who are manipulative and self-interested may result in wonderful changes for the common good. But I believe, generally, that power is inextricably linked with life itself. God is a God of power. Dim, vague and vascillating (as Whitehead once said), perhaps, but present nonetheless.
In the second reading, I imagine the Christians, in the midst of the apocalypse, declaring God’s glory. It seems defiant, the chant of a team that’s been the underdog for so long on the verge of victory. God wins. They’re Cubs fans. Trusting in the power of the underdog above the power of… money and commerce.