Who are you?
â€œThen the righteous man will stand with great confidence in the presence of those who have afflicted him, and those who make light of his labors. When they see him, they will be shaken with dreadful fear, and they will be amazed at his unexpected salvation. They will speak to one another in repentance, and in anguish of spirit they will groan, and say, â€˜This is the man whom we once held in derision and made a byword of reproach — we fools!â€™â€
In the coming week we will enter the Passiontide. We will recall our Lord riding triumphantly into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. We will walk with Him from the upper room to the garden, to His arrest, imprisonment, trial, torture, execution, and death. He is that Man that was afflicted, whose labors were mocked and thought of as folly by His accusers.
Our Holy Church has walked with Jesus in His suffering. We have such closeness to all He experienced because we too have been mocked and accused. Our organizers, men and women, were beaten, imprisoned, spit at, and mocked. Many today still recall being called names as they went to church. The brothers and sisters of our Church in Poland were prevented from organizing and driven out of towns. During the Second World War they were placed in concentration camps and were martyred for their faith. The communists martyred Bishop Padewski for his witness to Christ.
Through it all, and into these days, often called the post-Christian era, we continue to stand in confidence, the confidence we have because of our faith in Him who assures our salvation.
We hold to the hope we have in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We know that as we have walked with Him in His suffering so too will we stand with Him in His glory.
Today we celebrate the institution of our Holy Church. 116 years ago we chose to live in Jesus, in His righteousness and freedom. We rejected the attitude of the mockers, the powers, the lords of the world and worldly power; the controllers and masters who used fear against the people rather than teaching His truth.
Those who seek Him will find Him here. The persecutors, the fear mongers, and those who claim â€œsole ownershipâ€ of God cannot hurt them or us. Those who, in anger, stand against God cannot affect them or us. We have His confidence.
The world looks at us now, and they ask, â€œWho are you?â€ We reply with joy, â€œThe children of God.â€ We rejoice and know that we will never be accounted fools for we live in Him.