Today we remember that Jesus was forsaken by his own congregation. He was betrayed by a good friend. He was abandoned by others. His words were taken out of context by the Pharisees. He was gaslit before anybody knew to call it gaslighting.
The Church of Jesus Christ has a history of this kind of traumatizing behavior.
- Church people who seem “nice” but then they eat their own.
- Congregations who call young pastors “to help them grow and change” only to turn on those pastors for doing just that.
- Followers of Jesus who actually follow the bullies.
- People who refuse to refute the gossips.
- Graceless behavior.
- “Welcoming congregations” with a high stink eye quotient.
- Parishioners who banish the divorced, the broken, the queer.
We are the kind of people – we who are bullies and fear mongers and gossips and mean girls – that Jesus died for. Jesus even died for the haters. The crucifixion was about showing love even to those who don’t deserve it. Let that sink in.
Who have we have bullied and feared and gossiped about and tortured? Can we try to show grace in a hateful world?
Image is White Crucifixion by Chagall (1938)