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  • Valerie Ross

Jesus Are You The One? Conference Minister Shares Lent Reflection

Originally published in the Coconut Wireless, March 16, 2022.

The Season of Lent is a time for reflection, for asking questions and seeking answers. As we

look at problems and chaos in our world, many are asking the age-old questions: Jesus Are You

The One? Are you the one who can answer the deepest questions of my heart? Jesus are you,

indeed, the Balm in Gilead with healing for my soul?

Not long ago the New York Times published an article about the decline in Christianity. Then too, the Pew Research Center has suggested that over the past decade the number of professing Christians dropped by 8% to only 71% of the residents of America. And what has been most troubling is that at the same time, the ranks of atheists and agnostics have increased by 70%. Why? Primarily, because there is a growing suspicion of religion, and a growing level of despondency for those who look at the church and Christianity with skepticism, for the most part, because of ongoing negative rhetoric coming from many who identify as Christian. Despite the lies of Evangelicals, who prance around the world stage increasing the message that white supremacy will return in all its fullness and with all of its terror, it is within this context that we must remember the liberating message and ministry of Jesus. While it seems as though we are caught in a downward spiral headed toward a cataclysmic ending, particularly when we look at the situation in Ukraine and the malevolent forces of the Russian empire, the truth is, we as Christ followers, as contenders for the faith, are the ones who must answer this question by the example of our witness, and our work as partners in God's project of liberation and justice.

John, who upon baptizing Jesus, saw the dove descend on him anointing him as the promise, and heard God declare, this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. But after almost three years of imprisonment he sends word to Jesus: "are you the coming one or should we look for another?" (Matt 11: 2-6). Can you hear now this statement of John the Baptist? If John could ask this question, how much more are those who have never met Jesus and have no relationship with him likely to ask this question?

Notice how instructive Jesus is. Jesus says to his followers, go back to John and tell him the

things that you hear and the things that you see. Notice, he does not go into a long discourse

or dialogue, he does not flood their ears with empty rhetoric about what he's going to do or

what he projects for the future. He points them to the imperative evidence of the here and

now. He simply says, go tell him what you hear is happening and what you've seen with your

own eyes. I would argue that if the church has any chance of maintaining its substance, we

must tell the world what we are experiencing — Go tell Them What We Hear and What

We See.

In this Season of Lent, let us renew our commitment to Christ and his teachings and to a

revolution of our Christian values. Although liberating and redemptive, we must understand

that the pathway toward revolutionizing values is not easy. It requires, in the words of Dr. King,

"a spiritual rebirth."

Yes, Jesus Is The One and Things Are Happening!

Valerie Ross, Associate Conference Minister


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