Lent 5 – Anger unleashed
Our Lenten journey has taken us into the wilderness where we have confronted our own inner demons and we have thought about how those classic seven deadly sins impact our corporate lives. This fifth week of Lent finds us dealing with wrath – anger unleashed.
Five weeks into Lent we find ourselves within sight of the cross. It stands before us in its stark reality ready to receive the One who has taught us – has led us – has shown us God’s Love at work in the world. The cross stands before us reminding us that we, in our actions, in our attitudes, have erected that cross just as surely as did the Roman Empire two thousand years ago. As we approach the cross we become aware that hate and anger tried to suppress Love.
We are seeing anger unleashed in the ways we relate to one another in our country. Wrath is fueling the “us”/”them” mentality. It starts out small with seemingly petty disagreements or resentments. It feeds itself with narratives. Some of those narratives are the way we choose to read history. Some are based on the ways we read the Bible. And yes in today’s world the buzz words – are “Alternative Facts” and “Fake news”. Ultimately rage or wrath has the power to kill. We have seen it in the Holocaust. We see it in extermination and genocide programs around the world. We see it as laws and civil liberties are ripped away because judgment has deemed some persons are unworthy of existing in the same world as we live.
Our Lenten journey into the wilderness compels us to combat the winds of hate and wrath. We don’t want to admit that we are capable of hate, yet we know that we are. The words racism, misogyny, homophobia, classism make us very defensive and very uncomfortable. We try to gloss things over and talk about how we are really good people and think the best of people. We only dislike those who do something wrong. Yet we feed our negative attitudes and hate grows. We justify our positions and rage results. We act out our thoughts and we see wrath knocking everything down in its path.
When we confront our God in the wilderness we will be asked about our attitudes. We will have a choice. Will we fuel our strongly held angers? Will we choose to add more nails to the cross of Christ?
Can we, will we, fall on our knees before the God of Love and be transformed into a new creation?
Grace and Peace