As they led Jesus away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus. A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are surely coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.' Then they will begin to say to the mountains, 'Fall on us'; and to the hills, 'Cover us.' For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?" Luke 23:26-31
Today is the last day of an historic General Convention. Many people are reveling in the gains we have made - electing the first African American Presiding Bishop - among many steps forward. It is easy for some to gloat and be righteous, when they feel liked they have won. But as we know, life is much more complicated and good feeling can turn to hurt and anger quite quickly. For.my family, the 4th of July was always a grand celebration. My parents had hosted a bicycle parade for more than forty five years. Long after my father passed, my mother joyfully kept the tradition going. Since my mother passed during Holy Week this year, the parade will continue but it will no longer be a celebration for our family. Life changes, our perspectives change, and wins can turn into losses. Only our faith in God and love for each other can get us through in times of great change and tumult..
Jesus, beloved and heralded, was being led to the cross. The tides of hate and fear had risen quite quickly. These were days of sudden change and great tumult. Love can shake greed and selfish motives to their core. We humans can turn on each other ever so quickly. The good news we live with today and always, is that God's love is supreme, despite all the envy, cruelty and selfishness, God's love will resurrect the dead, heal the broken, and restore right relations in this world and the next.
Today, as General Convention of the Episcopal Church comes to a close, I pray for a spirit of kindness and gentleness to continue. I ask that God protect us from our baser selves. May we be humbled as we go from this place with such hope, knowing our future is firmly in the hands of God.