True Gospel Authotity

From Richard Rohr’s daily meditation for Friday, June 16, 2017.  (His full meditation can be found here.)

True Gospel authority, the authority to heal and renew, is not finally found in a hierarchical office, a theological argument, a perfect law, or a rational explanation. The Crucified revealed to the world that the real power that changes people and the world is an inner authority that comes from those who have lost, let go, and are re-found on a new level. Twelve-Step programs have come to the same conclusion in our time.
Both Francis and Clare had this kind of inner authority that is still part of their essential message for the world. They let go of all fear of suffering, all need for power, prestige, and possessions, and the need for their small self to be important. They came to know something essential—who they really were in God and thus who they really were. Their house was then built on “bedrock,” as Jesus says (Matthew 7:24).




S (Scripture): Matthew 16:21 From that time on Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests, and experts in the law, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.

O (Observation): GO – SUFFER – BE KILLED – BE RAISED. 

This is Jesus’ mission.   

Yes, Peter calls Jesus the Messiah in the verses that precede this, and yes, Peter is rebuked.  That is an important element, but today…I keep it simple.

Jesus was called to GO – SUFFER – BE KILLED – BE RAISED. 

A (Application): Many people dislike the notion that we would be compared to Jesus for any aspect of life or discipleship.  I tend to disagree with that notion.  

Jesus’s understanding of going, suffering, being killed, and being raised is certainly part of our life’s work as disciples.   Jesus led the way in this regard, and he beckons us to come, too.  

This means our salvation still rests in what God is doing (raising us up), as we stumble and bumble our way through life (going, suffering, and being liked).   

When is the last time you were called to GO and SUFFER?   Was it financially?   Physically?  Socially?  

I know that our family financial suffering has come in part due to our commitment to giving 10% of our income…but we have also experienced the blessings that come with this giving.  We have experienced what it means to BE RAISED in this aspect, too. 

Have you been called to stand beside the powerless or the downtrodden?   

Did you put yourself at risk because you felt the call to move in that direction?   

Did you sacrifice social status? 

And if so, what was it like to BE RAISED in that moment?   I don’t want the focus to ever be on the suffering for the sake of self-aggrandizement.  But rather, the focus should be on what it means to BE RAISED beyond the suffering.   

If you haven’t sensed this in your life…what are you waiting for?

P (Prayer):  Lord, help us to boldly step out in faith, knowing you carry us through our going, suffering, being killed, and being raised.  Amen.