Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Listening for God

Listening For God
John 10:22-30[1]
  The church in our day is known for a lot of things.  Unfortunately, not many of them are positive.  At least not in our culture at large.  In our day, the church is known for things like covering up serious abuses by the clergy.  And at the same time, it is known for heaping loads of guilt on people who don’t seem to “fit in.”  The church in our day is known for manipulating well-meaning people into giving what amounts to huge sums of money.  Almost in the same breath we could say it is known for spending extravagant amounts of money on itself.  Or it is known for the extravagant amounts of money its “leaders” spend to create their own versions of the lifestyles of the rich and famous.  I’m not sure much of what the average person on the street thinks about church seems very  positive.
  In our Gospel lesson for today, Jesus makes some interesting remarks about what characterizes those who at least claim to follow him.  He says, “My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me” (Jn. 10:27).  Earlier in this chapter, he makes a similar statement: “I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father” (Jn. 10:14-15).  Those who belong to Jesus know him in the same way that Jesus and the Father know each other.[2]  They hear his voice and follow him.  That seems to me to be a remarkable way to describe the church: the fellowship of those who know Jesus, who hear his voice, and follow him.
  Of course, that’s easier said than done.  Talk of hearing voices in a religious or spiritual context can make people think you’ve lost touch with reality.   And, of course, the claim that “God told me” has been used and abused in every conceivable way.  And yet, when it comes down to it, what Jesus says distinguishes those who believe from those who don’t believe is this: “I know my own and my own know me” and “My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me.”  It would seem to me that some kind of spiritual relationship with God is at the heart of what it means to be a follower of Christ.  And that includes an active attempt to know God, to hear God’s voice, and to put into practice what we hear.[3]
  I don’t think that means that we turn loose all moorings and leave the church at the mercy of whatever someone claims God told them.  For one thing, I think we can assume that the voice of God in our day will not speak in a significantly different way than the generations before us have experienced it.  This particularly relates to Scripture as the primary witness to the living interaction between God and the human family over the centuries.  So paying attention to Scripture can help us in our effort to listen for the voice of God. Another check on an “anything goes” approach to spirituality is that we tend to hear God’s voice better when we do so in community with others than when we are listening alone.  I think a final test for the quality of our attempt to listen for God’s voice has to be the fruit it bears in our lives.  If our discernment of God’s voice leads us to be more patient, more kind, more merciful, more understanding, more loving--in short, if it leads us to live in a way that is more like Christ--then I think we’re on the right track. [4]
  At the end of the day, however, there has to be some kind of effort on our part to actually seek God: his presence, his truth, and his will for our lives.  That is an inherently personal endeavor.  You can do it together with others, but no one can do it for you.  Somehow, sometime, somewhere in your being you have to make the decision that seeking God’s presence is a vital part of your life.[5]  Somehow, sometime, somewhere in your heart you have to decide that aligning your life with God’s will and God’s way is of central importance.  Somehow, sometime, somewhere in your soul you have to come to the place where you realize it’s essential to at least try to listen for God’s voice.[6] 
  I think this is one more way that we can bear witness to our new life through faith in Jesus Christ. [7]  Can you imagine the response from our world if the church came to be known as the people who truly seek to listen for God’s voice?  Can you imagine what would happen if the church became known as the people who know Christ and who truly seek to follow him?  I’m not sure I can.  But I’d like to try.  I think we have to begin by making the decision that listening for God and seeking to follow Christ is something vital to our ability to experience what Jesus called “eternal life.”[8] When we are living out the mercy and compassion of Christ, it seems to me that we’re doing a pretty good job of listening for God. Then maybe we can become the kind of people who are known for knowing Christ truly and for seeking to follow him sincerely.

[1] © 2013 Alan Brehm.  A sermon preached by Rev. Dr. Alan Brehm at First Presbyterian Church of Dickinson, TX on 4/21/2013.
[2] Cf. Ernst Haenchen, John: A commentary on the Gospel of John, 48.  He points out that this kind of relationship “does not mean to be acquainted; rather, it means to have a living bond.” Cf. also Margaret Guenther, “Known by the Shepherd,” The Christian Century (Apr 26, 1995): 453, where she points out the double edge to this: “To be known, fully known, is both painful and profoundly comforting. We accept the humble status of sheep, let our masks and defenses drop away, and allow the shepherd to carry us on his shoulder and occasionally poke us with his staff.”
[3] Cf. Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics 2.2:279: “The voice of Jesus Christ is the voice of God Himself, who wills to have us for Himself, to make us free and ready for eternal life.”
[4] Cf. Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline, 33, where he says, ““In prayer, real prayer, we begin to think God’s thoughts after him: to desire the things he desires, to love the things he loves, to will the things he wills.”
[5] Cf. Diana Butler Bass, Christianity for the Rest of Us, 121: “From the earliest Christian thinkers onward, tradition has insisted that faith, rightly understood, is a quest to know oneself in God.  To run from the self is to run from God.  People need silence to find their way back to interior wisdom.”
[6] Cf. Henri Nouwen, Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life, 34: “To live a spiritual life we must first find the courage to enter into the desert of our loneliness and to change it by gentle and persistent efforts into a garden of solitude.” He says further (p. 44), “In this solitude we can slowly become aware of a a presence of him who embraces friends and lovers and offers us the freedom to love each other, because he loved us first.”
[7] Cf. The Book of Order 2007-2009, G-3.0200, where we say that we believe we are called to be “a sign in and for the world” of the “new creation, a new beginning for human life” that has occurred in Jesus Christ.
[8] Cf. Henri Nouwen, Here and Now: Living in the Spirit, 69, where he reminds us that “Jesus says: ‘Dwell in me as I dwell in you.’ It is this divine in-dwelling that is eternal life.  It is the active presence of God at the center of my living--the movement of  God’s Spirit within us--that gives us the eternal life.”

Tending Sheep

Tending Sheep
John 21:15-19[1]
  I’ve never raised livestock myself.  But you can’t grow up in a small town in Texas without being around livestock.  And yet I wouldn’t claim to know the first thing about raising sheep.  The only time I’ve been around sheep was when I was a much younger man, serving as the pastor of a little country church in central Texas.  Most of the folks in that area raised cattle.  But one of the leaders of that little church raised sheep.  It seemed to me that raising sheep was a pretty simple task.  You made sure they had enough land to graze, you had sheep dogs to keep them from getting themselves in trouble, and every once in a while you had to get rid of predators that were lurking on your land.  I’m sure my take on it is probably too simple, but it seemed that tending sheep wasn’t a complicated job.
  As I’ve mentioned before, the lessons during these weeks of the Easter season repeatedly express the idea that the purpose of our experience of new life through Jesus Christ is so that we might spread the news far and wide.  I think some of us may think that task is reserved for someone with more knowledge and training, like a pastor.[2]  I think we tend to see ourselves as either unqualified or unable to talk to other people about our faith.  And so when we hear that we’re supposed to bear witness to the new life we have found through our faith, we effectively “count ourselves out,” thinking that there are others who are much more suited to the task.
  Our Gospel lesson for today may speak to that reluctance.  I can’t think of any of the apostles who would have better reason to be reluctant to speak about Jesus than Simon Peter.  After boasting that though all the others might desert Jesus, he would die before doing so (cf. Matt. 26:33/Mk. 14:29), Peter publicly denied even knowing Jesus.  Not once, but three times.  I think Peter had all kinds of reasons for going back to fishing.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he thought his career as a disciple of Jesus was over.  I think it would have been easy for him to think he had forfeited any right to serve as a witness to the new life through faith in Jesus.
  But I think Jesus had different plans for Peter.  As Peter and the others were fishing, Jesus revealed himself to them again.  After they shared a meal together, Jesus had an unusual conversation with Peter.  He began by asking, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” (Jn. 21:15).  Although it’s unclear, it would seem that Jesus’ question alluded to Peter’s boast, which implied that he loved Jesus more than the others.[3]  Peter, now a much humbler man after his bitter failure, simply answered,  “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” And in response, Jesus simply told Peter, “Feed my lambs.” Nothing spectacular.  Nothing that would bring him any special distinction.  Just a simple task, yet one that would take all the love he had to give.  And to leave no room for doubt about what Jesus had in mind, he asked Peter the same question three times, and each time he told Peter that if he loved him, Peter should show it by tending the flock.[4]
  I think there’s an important lesson for us all in this unusual conversation between Jesus and Peter.  I think we are likely to view those who do things like serving on the mission field as the ones who really love God.  In so doing, we discount our ability to do anything significant for God.  But Jesus told Peter that his love for God and for Jesus were to be channeled through the simple act of tending the flock.  And I think the same thing applies to us. We’re all called to “tend sheep.”  Nothing spectacular.  Nothing that will bring us any special distinction.  Just a simple task, yet one that will take all the love we have to give.[5]
  You might think that tending the flock is the job of the pastor.  And you’re right, that is one of my most important roles as your pastor.  But tending the flock is not just the pastor’s calling.  It’s a calling that belongs to all of us.[6]  And in a very real sense, the “flock” that we’re called to tend is not limited to the members and friends of this congregation.  The “flock” we’re called to tend consists of the world of people around us.  Everyone we come into contact with, whatever the extent of that contact.[7]  The people we meet in our daily lives are the “sheep” we’re called to tend.  And we tend them just like any shepherd tends sheep--we care for them, we value them, and we try to help meet their basic needs.  It’s a simple task, yet it’s one that will take all the love we have to give.
  I think this is one of the most important ways in which we can share our experience of new life through faith in Jesus Christ.  But in order to do that, we may have to change our outlook toward the people we come in contact with every day.  Rather than being suspicious or defensive, we may have to try to see them as “sheep without a shepherd” so that we can have compassion for them as Jesus did (Mt. 9:36/Mk. 6:34).  It is only when we care for the people we encounter that we can really share the love we have for God and for Jesus Christ.  If we want to share our experience of new life, we first have to demonstrate it by doing the simple, but demanding task of tending the sheep around us.

[1] © 2013 Alan Brehm.  A sermon preached by Rev. Dr. Alan Brehm at First Presbyterian Church of Dickinson, TX on 4/14/2013.
[2] There is significant discussion about whether Jesus’ commission to Peter in Jn. 21:15-17 constitutes designating him as the leader of the Apostles. On this, see G. R. Beasley-Murray, John, 406-7.  The circumstances of the conversation don’t seem to support that in my view.
[3] Cf. Beasley-Murray, John, 405; cf. also Ernst Haenchen, John: A commentary on the Gospel of John, 226, 232; and R. E. Brown, “The Resurrection in John 21 --Missionary and Pastoral Directives for the Church,” Worship 64 (no. 5, S 1990): 441.
[4] Cf. Gail R. O’Day, “The Gospel of John,” New Interpreters Bible  IX:864: “Peter’s love of Jesus will be evidenced when he cares for Jesus’ sheep, not apart from that care.”  Cf. also Paul S. Minear, "The Original Functions Of John 21," Journal of Biblical Literature 102 (Mar 1983): 94: “Love for Jesus must be seen to be inseparable from care for his flock.” Cf. also Beasley-Murray, John, 405.
[5] Cf. Henri Nouwen, Here and Now: Living in the Spirit, 103: “the compassionate life is mostly hidden in the ordinariness of everyday living.”
[6] Cf. O’Day, “Gospel of John,” NIB IX:861: “the charge to ‘feed my sheep’ does not distinguish Peter as the true successor of Jesus, but rather describes what it means to ‘live out one’s love for Jesus.’”
[7] Cf. A Declaration of Faith, 1977, 7.6: “We are called to live now as God's servants in the service of people everywhere.”  Cf. Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith, 94-95, where she says, “At its most basic level, the everyday practice of being with other people is the practice of loving the neighbor as the self.  More intricately, it is the practice of coming face-to-face with another human being,” which can be as simple as meeting his or her eyes.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Chosen to Testify

Chosen to Testify
Acts 10:34-43[1]
  We all have our comfort zones.  Your favorite restaurant.  Your favorite grocery store.  Your favorite route to work.  Your favorite chair at home.  We like staying in the comfort of what is familiar.  But Easter pushes us way beyond what is familiar.  When was the last time you heard of an executed convict becoming one of the great religious leaders of the world? And even more, when was the last time you witnessed someone come back to life after being dead for two days?  Easter definitely takes us out of what is familiar and puts us squarely in the middle of something so strange, so new, that it changes everything and everyone.[2] No one can stay in their comfort zones in new light of that first Easter morning.
  In our lesson from Acts for today, there’s a lot that lies behind the seemingly simple story of Peter’s preaching.  In the first place, Peter was preaching to the household of Cornelius, a Roman Centurion.  He wasn’t preaching to Jewish people at the local synagogue.  He was preaching to a gathering of Gentiles--and to the family and friends of a Roman soldier!  Normally Peter would not even enter such a home.  Probably a short time earlier, in Antioch of Syria, he had refused to even eat with Gentile believers converted by Paul’s ministry (Gal. 2:11-14).  And in this case, Peter only consented to go to this unfamiliar place because God had specifically commanded him in a vision to do so (Acts 10:9-20)!
  I’m not sure Peter knew what to expect when he went so far outside his comfort zone.  All he knew was that he had been commanded to go.  And when he got there Cornelius told Peter he had been commanded by God in a dream to seek him out and listen to whatever he had to say.  That was Peter’s cue. He finally put all the pieces together and realized that God wanted him to tell them the good news about Jesus, because God would accept people from all walks of life, from all ethnic backgrounds, from all races and classes (Acts 10:35).  It was one more sign that Jesus’ death and resurrection had changed everything and everyone.[3]  In case Peter had any lingering doubts, the Spirit came upon this group of foreigners just as he had come upon the Apostles on the day of Pentecost!  God made it crystal clear that the amazing events of Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection from the dead were changing everything and everyone.   No one could stay in their comfort zones any longer.[4]
  One of the ways in which the apostles talked about Easter was by repeating again and again that God had chosen them to be witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection and therefore to testify to what they had seen.[5]  But as is the case with the way God always “chooses” people, it was not for them to enjoy a special privilege, but rather it was for them to carry out a task.  They were chosen to spread the news about Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection from the dead changing everything and everyone.  I doubt any of them could foresee what that would mean for them.
  Although some of the Apostles were slow to leave their own “comfort zones,” various events made it impossible for them to avoid spreading the good news beyond Jerusalem and Judea and even beyond Galilee to the “ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).  The purpose of their calling was to take the message to all people everywhere.[6]  That is a continuous theme in the Scripture lessons throughout the Easter season--that they were to spread the news far beyond their “comfort zones.”  The Scriptures repeatedly express the idea that the purpose of our experience of new life through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is to spread the news far and wide.[7]  And that means going beyond our comfort zones. 
  I think one of the biggest obstacles to the growth of this or any other church is that we tend to stay in our comfortable, familiar routines.  Some might say, we stay in same rut we’ve been in for years.  It’s uncomfortable changing your routine.  It can make us feel uneasy to try to get outside our comfort zones in order to share this new life with people who are strange to us.  But the Scriptures make it clear that the events of Easter will not allow us to stay where we are.  Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is the first act of God’s work of making all things new.[8]  That means everything is changing.  And that means we all have to change--even changing our routines and getting outside what feels comfortable to us because we too have been chosen to testify to others about the new life God offers us all in Jesus Christ

[1] © 2013 Alan Brehm.  A sermon preached by Rev. Dr. Alan Brehm on 3/31/2013 at First Presbyterian Church of Dickinson, TX.
[2] Cf. Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics 4.2:143, where despite the uniqueness of the resurrectin, he emphasizes that it is an event among others which can be witnessed, saying, “It is an event which involves a definite seeing with the eyes and hearing with the ears and handling with the hands, as the Easter-stories say so unmistakeably and emphatically, and as is again underlined in 1 Jn. 1. It involves real eating and drinking, speaking and answering, reasoning ... and doubting and then believing.”
[3] Cf. L. Susan Bond, “Acts 10:34-43,” Interpretation 56 (Jan 2002), 81: “When Peter announces that God is not partial, it is good news and bad news. It means that Cornelius can be included in the promises. It also means that there are no longer insiders and outsiders.”
[4] cf. Bond, “Acts 10:34-43,” 82, where she points out that in light of the cross, “If Cornelius follows this peculiar Lord, he’ll have to lay down his sword and lose social status. Peter, along with other Christians, will have to enter into the risky business where only God in Christ judges. He will have to lay down his religious membership card.”
[5] Cf. John B. Polhill, Acts, 85, 93; William H. Willimon, Acts, 34-37.  In fact, after the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost, they rarely mention the events surrounding Jesus' resurrection without adding, “We are witnesses of these things.”
[6] Barth, Church Dogmatics IV.3: 488-91, where he discusses at length (ibid., 488-491) the fact that the Scriptures speak of a universal renewal of all things and all people, despite the fact that they also maintain the distinction between those who have responded to the call and those who have yet to respond.  Barth also maintains this distinction, while at the same time concluding (ibid., 490), “In the light of the universalistic passages of the Bible, we can say that man in every time and place stands already in the light of life.”
[7] Cf. Dictionary Of The Later New Testament And Its Developments, ed. R. P. Martin & P. H. Davids, s.v. “Evangelism in the Early Church,” by D. S. Lim.  He says that “testifying” “consisted of one’s personal experience of salvation, especially the power behind one’s transformed and/or exemplary life (cf. 1 Pet 3:15).”
[8] Cf. Willimon, Acts, 3;cf. also  Jürgen Moltmann, The Way of Jesus Christ, 26-27, 28, 30, 32-33.J. Moltmann, The Church in the Power of the Spirit, 98-99, 191.

Finding Peace

There is a depth dimension to life that many of us never discover in the frenzied rush to get through life unscathed by fear or pain.  Call it what you will--awakening to our true nature, a connection to with the compassion at the heart of all things, a sense of unity with creation--I choose to call it the abiding presence of God, Father, Son and Spirit; Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.  Unfortunately, many of us fear the silence and solitude that leads to this discovery, because they can be painful.  But they are necessary, because we have to quiet the inner dialogue that is constantly dragging us into the past or into the future or anywhere but this present moment.  In fact, it eluded me for years for that very reason--I was afraid of the silence and the solitude of this present moment.  But if you are willing to endure the fear and pain, when you find this depth inside you, you have discovered an unshakable foundation for your life.  You need never again fear being alone because this Presence is with you always.

As Thomas Merton says it, "The only true joy on earth is to escape from the prison of the false self, and enter by love into union with the Life Who dwells and sings within the essence of every creature and in the core of our own souls." (New Seeds of Contemplation, 25)

Monday, April 01, 2013

Thy Will Be Done

Thy Will Be Done
Ps. 31:9-16; Lk. 22:42; Lk. 23:46[1]
  Last week we talked about how we are creatures of habit.  We are also incredibly willful creatures.  Even the most mild-mannered of us usually want things our way.  And, once again, life seldom cooperates.  Some of us respond to this crisis by suffering in silence--we bear the burden of our unfulfilled wishes in silence.  Others of us complain loudly when life doesn’t give us what we want--to anyone who will even pretend to listen.  Of course, part of the problem is that we somehow assume that we know what is best for us, and so we focus our will on getting that.  But the reality is that most of us are lousy at determining what is in our own best interest, and worse at planning the course we think our lives should take.  And yet we persist at trying to bend life to our will, no matter what.  As I said mentioned week, trying to live that way can be a prescription for insanity.
  Our Scripture lessons for today present us with a different approach to life.  It’s the approach that we’ve been talking about during the last few weeks.  The whole idea of trusting in God implies, as the Psalmist expresses, that the course of our lives is out of our hands.  Our lives are in God’s hands (Ps. 31:15).[2]  Recognizing this truth is the essence of what it means to trust in God. It means entrusting all that we are, all that we have, all that we are concerned about, all those we love, into God’s care.  And the Scriptures teach us that God’s care is infinite and unfailing. 
  I think this may explain why Jesus could look an excruciating death squarely in the face, and pray “not my will but yours be done” (Lk. 22:42).[3]  In spite of the circumstances, we shouldn’t be surprised that Jesus prayed that prayer.  Seeking God’s will was the whole focus of his entire life.  Ironically, the very first words Jesus utters in Luke’s Gospel, “Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?” (Lk. 2:49), imply that even at a young age Jesus was already focused on seeking God’s will.  It’s no wonder that when his disciples asked him what to pray for, he taught them to pray, “thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:7).
  When we think about the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for us on that Friday so many years ago, I think we have to recognize that what enabled him to go through with it was his trust in God.  In a very real sense, what Jesus did on the cross fulfilled the words of the Servant of the Lord in Isaiah: “The Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame” (Isa. 50:7).  While it’s hard to imagine that Jesus could face the prospect of a horrific death with unflinching faith, I think we have to assume that what enabled him to see it through to the bitter end was his trust that the God into whose hands he had entrusted his whole life would be with him in his darkest hour.
  It may be hard for us to comprehend the fact that it was Jesus’ commitment to obeying God’s will that led him to his humiliating death.  We tend to think of obedience to God as something that leads to good things coming our way.  It’s hard to imagine that the ultimate obedience could lead to the ultimate sacrifice.  That’s exactly the way St. Paul frames Jesus’ death in our lesson for today: “he became obedient to the point of death” (Phil. 2:8).[4]  And the Apostle tells us to have the same attitude as Christ had.  In other words, he calls us to follow Jesus’ example in seeking God’s will and trusting God with the outcome, no matter what it looks like.
  We even see this amazing trust in God reflected in Jesus’ dying words.  While Matthew and Mark report Jesus’ last words as a cry of anguish, in Luke’s Gospel Jesus dies with an affirmation of faith: “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit” (Lk 23:46).[5]  In fact, he was quoting from the very Psalm that we started with.  The full text of the verse reads, “Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God” (Ps. 31:5).  One of the details of this verse is that “spirit” can also be translated “life.”  So in a very real sense, Jesus was entrusting his whole life to God.  The words Jesus uttered as he was dying were essentially “it is up to you, God, what becomes of me, and I am willing to have it so.”[6]  He died the same way that he lived his whole life: seeking God’s will and entrusting the outcome into God’s hands.
  A faith like that seems to me to be the highest  expression of trust.  It’s not easy to look at our lives, at all that we are, all that we have, all those we love, and essentially let go of it all by placing it into God’s hands.  But that was the kind of faith that Jesus modeled for us throughout his life.  It was that kind of faith that enabled him to live out the prayer “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  And it was that kind of faith that enabled him to face the prospect of making the final sacrifice with the prayer, “not my will, but thine be done.”  As we seek to deepen our trust in God, Jesus’ commitment stands for us as the defining example for our own faith.  The kind of trust reflected in the prayer, “Not my will, but thine be done” challenges us all to give up trying to get what we want out of life and instead to seek God’s will and entrust the outcome to him.

[1] © 2013 Alan Brehm.  A sermon preached by Rev. Dr. Alan Brehm on 3/24/2013 at First Presbyterian Church of Dickinson, TX.
[2] cf. James L. Mays, Psalms, 144: “In the mouth of Jesus [this] sentence is surely a profound interpretation of his entire life.”  Cf. H.-J. Kraus, Psalm 1-59, 365, where he talks about the Psalm as a prayer of “trusting self-surrender.”
[3] cf. Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, 4.1:270, where he describes this prayer of Jesus as “a radiant Yes” to the will of God, which he “unreservedly accepts.”
[4] Cf. Fred B. Craddock, Philippians, 42: “Christ acted on our behalf without view of gain. That is precisely what God has exalted and vindicated: self-denying service for others to the point of death with no claim of return, no eye upon a reward.”
[5] Cf. Fred B. Craddock, Luke, 275; R. Alan Culpepper, “The Gospel of Luke,” New Interpreters Bible IX:461.
[6] This is Mays’ interpretation of “into your hands I commit my spirit.”  Cf. Mays, Psalms, 144.  Cf. also Jürgen Moltmann, “Good Friday: Birth of Hope from the Cross of Christ,” in The Power of the Powerless, 120, where he calls this “believing with one’s whole life.”