Greetings friends. This week I write to you from New York. I am sitting in a Starbucks just off Time Square. I’ve just been to Morning Prayer at St. Mary’s Time Square. I came in here for the coffee, the wifi is an added bonus. The Barista who served me is called Jesús. I know that this is a popular name in Mexico, as it is a predominantly Roman Catholic country. The name Jesus used in the English language originates from the Latin form of the Greek name Ἰησοῦς (Iēsous), a rendition of the Hebrew Yeshua ( ישוע ) also having the variants Joshua or Jeshua (Wow! Thanks Wikipedia!). All that said, I met Jesús and figured this was a good place to write the clergy notes.
I found this at St. Mary’s and wanted to share it with you given that we are in the Easter season and will be hearing from the book of Acts, the narrative of the early church.
“God came among us in the person of Jesus of Nazareth to show us the Way. He came to show us the Way of life, the Way to love. He came to show us the Way beyond what often can be the nightmares of our own devising and into the dream of God’s intending. That is why, when Jesus called his first followers he did it with the simple words, “follow me.”
“Follow me,” he said, “and I will make you fish for people.”
Follow me and I will show you how to become more than you ever dreamed you could be. Follow me, and I will help you change the world from the nightmare it often is into the dream that God intends. Jesus came and started a movement; we are the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement.
The truly liberating truth is that Jesus did not come into this world to found a religion, though religious faith is important. Nor did he establish a religious institution or organization, though institutions and organizations can serve his cause. You will not find an organizational chart in the New Testament.
Jesus came to continue a movement. Actually, Jesus picked up and took the movement of John the Baptist to a new level. John was part of the movement born out of prophets like Amos and Isaiah and Jeremiah. And the prophetic movement was rooted in Moses, who went up to the mountain top.”1
We follow the apostles through the book of Acts this Easter Season, and we are part of that movement, you and I. In recent weeks I have heard stories of you meeting people and inviting them in some way or another to come to St. James’, to take a risk and come seeking God in a new place. You are living into your apostolic ministry! You are part of the Jesus movement! Our church is growing by the grace of God.
1 Sermon by the Most Rev’d Michael B. Curry at Washington National Cathedral at his installation as the 27th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.