In his second report from the National Pastors Convention, David Swanson describes how two Anglican bishops helped him recognize Christ's presence among all the convention glitz and kitsch.
May I confess something? I've experienced a bit of cynicism at this conference over the past few days. Everywhere I look, I see another Christian item for sale. I'm writing this post in front of a TV showing the latest installment of a hip teaching series. Off to my left is a display for the new Narnia movie, and to my right is a recruiting station for Army chaplains.
My cynicism is probably not helpful. But I have nevertheless found myself wondering, "Where is Jesus in all this stuff?" One answer to that question has come in the form of addresses from two Anglican bishops.
The main session on Tuesday evening featured Anglican Bishop John Rucyahana. "Bishop John" became took leadership of a diocese in northwest Rwanda in the aftermath of the genocide. A Rwandan refugee who spent most of his life in Uganda, Bishop John was "accepted by Jesus" when he was 21. His journey as a leader in the Anglican Church began shortly thereafter.
Bishop John spoke to us of our calling into God's glory and excellence from 2 Peter 1. I would imagine that most of us in the grand ballroom that evening have had very different experiences in our ministries. Surely few, if any, of us have preached to a congregation filled with those who have known both sides of genocide.
In his sermon, Bishop John repeatedly assured us that he does not follow a distant Jesus, a Jesus who is trapped in history. Rather, he pursues the Jesus who is present now: "I now preach to those who have lost their families and to those who are guilty of killing the families of others. And Jesus ...