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Resurrecting temples

By Jessica Brodie

I admit I’m struggling with mixed emotions this month.

I’m disappointed General Conference has been postponed, though I understand—we can’t ensure valid online voting, and we can’t get all our delegates here in-person because of visa and other pandemic-related issues.

I’m alarmed a new denomination is not only starting but urging churches to leave The United Methodist Church. While I applaud their efforts and courage to take a leap of faith and start something new, something more in line with their theological convictions, it feels uncomfortable and upsetting, like I’m experiencing a divorce or a death.

I’m horrified at the destruction I see in Ukraine and elsewhere. I know wars have been happening as long as humans and sin have existed, but watching people devise new methods to obliterate cities with bombs, tanks, guns and other weapons of mass destruction is disgusting and heartbreaking.

As a woman of faith, I don’t know what to do beyond pray. And so that is what I do—I pray. For I know that I can’t fix the mess of this world, but I know who can: God.

We humans like to think we know all the answers. We like to think we know what God meant when this or that was expressed in the Bible, or that we are acting in God’s name when we serve the best we can.

But the truth is we know very little in the grand scheme.

Yet we serve a mighty and all-powerful God who knows all, sees all, commands all and remains triumphant through it all.

So while my emotions are wobbly and I strive to find peace with all the changes going on around me, I don’t have to fear. I only have to trust.

For I know everything will work out exactly as God intends.

As Jesus said in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (NIV).

This Easter, consider the resurrection story afresh. Consider the temple Jesus spoke of, the temple that would be destroyed but raised up in three days. But of course, as the apostle John tells us, “the temple he had spoken of was his body” (John 2:19-20).

What temples are we holding onto when we need to trust God? How can we look at Jesus’s sacrifice with new eyes this season given everything else going on?

He is risen, and we are risen with him.

And that is all that matters in the end.

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