As the ballplayer struck out with two on and two out, the stadium rang with bitter boos. I confess that I booed along with the rest. How does a crowd turn from shouts of joy to cries of murder in such a short span?
God calls us out of the metaphorical tombs in which we are buried: addiction, hopelessness, guilt. But I believe God also calls us out of the tangible tombs of entrenched poverty, poor education, and limited opportunity.
The author of the fourth Gospel knows we need guideposts and leaders. In his account of Jesus’ ministry he includes an incident that models the bravest of efforts at letting go of a human division that has created deep social barriers.
I grew up in Southern Baptist congregations. By the time I left high school I knew the four steps to salvation and the meaning of Jesus’ sacrificial death as a substitutionary atonement for my sins. I could articulate this understanding of salvation in clear and simple terms. Within the metanarrative of evangelical Christianity it made perfect sense and was logically coherent.