It All Comes Down to This
CrossOver reflection for Week Thirteen • Beginning February 24, 2019
We Make the Road by Walking, Chapter 26
Rev. Timothy L. Overton-Harris
I begin with a confession. When I signed up to write the Crossover Blog for this week, I really didn’t pay attention to the chapter or the date—I just wanted something away from Christmas and Easter. So, I picked February 24, 2019, and Chapter 26. As I was entering it into my calendar (so that I would be sure to complete my homework) I became aware of the fact that I had picked THE week of the year—the week of the
I almost asked for a redo. Who am I to write this blog on the week of such a potentially world-altering event? What could I possibly say that would matter as we all await what will come on the other side of GC2019? How could I offer something significant, even inspirational at such a momentous and potentially devastating time in the life of the UMC and for so many who hold it dear?
Then I heard the Bishop’s voice and remembered what she said about God calling us to mission and ministry regardless of what happens at GC2019. I took a deep breath and I deleted my email pleading for a change of date and chapter and began to reflect and pray.
As I sat with the scriptures for this week, I was struck by the chords that seems to echo through them … faith, forgiveness, authority, breaking with tradition and institution.
Mark 2, Hebrews 11 and 1 John 1-2 are all about looking beyond what is expected, acceptable, and given the stamp of approval by the institution. They speak of faith—by
As the beloved of God and Christ, we know that which claims our loyalty and allegiance—the grace, acceptance, and love of God made known to us by Jesus Christ. We know that institutions and religious authorities are often restricted in their ability to see beyond the borders that have protected us and kept us faithful. They cannot see the possibility that is being birthed because they are so focused on maintaining what is.
The Hubble Telescope has allowed us to look deep into the universe and back in time. We have been allowed to see new worlds being birthed and new stars exploding into life. If we look back in time, we can see that Jesus was such a moment of birth and light—the birth of a new cosmos. Where once peace came only through violence, now peace comes through justice. Where once rules excluded, now grace includes all. Where once forgiveness resided in the mythical hands of God, now forgiveness is available to all.
As we emerge from
Pray with me for General Conference 2019 and for the road we are and will make toward God’s light and love.
Rev. Tim Overton-Harris serves as Superintendent for the Cascadia District in the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. He is the current dean of the OR-ID Cabinet.
Credit: Original image by ESA/Hubble (M. Kornmesser), cropped.