We’ve been talking for a little over a year now about being the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement, and somebody recently said to me, “As a bishop, why don’t you paint us a picture, give us a picture of the Jesus Movement so that we can see it?”
When the Gospel is about to be read, the congregation stands up. Something is going on. And then more than that, as the Gospel moment is approaching, a deacon, if there is a deacon in the particular church, a person who has been ordained to be at the intersection of the church and the world, is asked to read or chant the Gospel. And they come down sometimes with the Gospel book held high. And there’s music and the congregation is singing as the Gospel of Jesus, the teachings, the life and the spirit of Jesus enter, in a sense, the room, through the reading of the Gospel. And then, on top of that, everyone in the room turns and reorients from wherever they are, they turn, they reorient themselves, facing the place of the Gospel, and stand for the reading of the Gospel. For hearing the teachings of Jesus. That Gospel moment, the Church has become The Jesus Movement. With life reoriented around the teachings of Jesus and around his very spirit. Teachings and a spirit that embody the love of God in our lives and in this world.
A way of love that seeks the good and the well-being of the other before the self’s own unenlightened interest. A way of love that is not self-centered, but other-directed. A way of love grounded in compassion and goodness and justice and forgiveness. It is that way of love that is the way of Jesus. And that way of love that can set us all free.
Someone once said, “When you look at Jesus, you see one who is loving, one who is liberating, and one who is life-giving.” And that is what the way of Jesus is about. And that is the Movement of Jesus. A community of people committed to living the way of Jesus, loving, liberating, and life-giving, and committed to going into the world to help this world become one that is loving, liberating, and life-giving.
Jesus once said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in Judea, in Samaria . . . “, 42nd Street and 3rd Avenue, you will be my witnesses, witnesses to a way that is loving, liberating, and life-giving. And that my friends, can change this world.
- Putting Jesus at the Center
- Life Giving
- Relationships With God
- Relationships With Each Other
- And With All God’s Creation
- Environmental Stewardship
- The Jesus Movement
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry