Our Invitation to Courage by Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson | April 21, 2020

I value the way my Christian faith helps me see things from a different perspective.  Like when Jesus tells us we are blessed when we are humble or sorrowful or in need.  Or by recognizing a calling to nonviolence is not a passive resignation to evil but an active resistance of not allowing the evil of others to pollute the soul by its evil influence.

The same can be said for courage.  We often think of courage as actively running toward danger.  In this time of coping with the outbreak of the coronavirus, how grateful and appreciative are we of those in the medical profession standing and working in harm's way to help us and our family members, friends and neighbors.  As with First Responders, they are showing tremendous courage and we are impressed and indebted to them for their great acts of service.

But courage also has a passive voice, the kind of courage we are asked to honor by practicing physical distancing, staying mostly at home, wearing face coverings, and taking other protective measures that are sensible and wise in coping with the deadly outbreak of this disease.

Over the next three Sundays, we will be thinking about this more quiet form of courage.  This week on April 26 we will focus on "The Courage to Wait."  Patience takes courage and trusting that time spent waiting in preparation and prayer is time well spent.  On May 3, we consider "The Courage to Sit with Our Sufferings."  Americans are great at avoiding all forms of pain and will quickly run the other way.  Our Christian faith helps us have the courage to be uncomfortable, to face our worries and distresses long enough to discover what they may teach us.  Finally, On May 3, we ponder one of the greatest mysteries of our faith--how the stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone for the authentic building of our lives.  On this Sunday, we will think about "The Courage to Value What Others Reject."

All of these challenges require courage and reminds me of something said by Winston Churchill, "Success is not final, failure is not fatal and it is the courage to continue that counts."  During these difficult days, let us take on Easter courage - to wait, to be comfortable being uncomfortable and to remember how God's surprising lessons are often discovered in the most unlikely of places.

3 months

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