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God is the victim of sacrifice, the Advocate for all sacrificial victims, and the Love that unravels sacrifice and brings life out of death.

S1:E28 EPISODE SUMMARY

Let’s get some Holy Spirit up in here! For the 6th Sunday in Easter, Lindsey and Adam read John 14:15-21. “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever.”

Another Advocate.

Jesus himself is the first Advocate, the defender of victims and the accused. He has shown the disciples that advocacy is solidarity; that is, the way to show concern for the poor and marginalized is to become marginalized and live among the poor. He has fed, healed, and comforted those against whom society had turned their backs. He has eaten with “sinners and tax collectors.” He has redefined “sin” as exclusion itself (rather than a valid reason to exclude), and he has redefined “righteousness” as mercy.

Now he will model the ultimate solidarity with the “least” according to the world’s standards, being executed as a criminal and a blasphemer, in order expose the upside-down order of a world that operates on violence and sacrifice. God is not the author of sacrifice. God is the victim of sacrifice, the Advocate for all sacrificial victims, and the Love that unravels sacrifice and brings life out of death.

The world will see him as another crucified criminal. But the disciples will see through the lens of mercy, which will shine ever brighter after God reveals the limitlessness of God’s mercy on the cross. They will see through this lens that Jesus lives. And because he lives, hope and love and mercy will spread through those who follow in Jesus’s footsteps and “keep [his] commandments.”

These verses may appear exclusive, as if only a select few can truly know “the Spirit of Truth” while the rest of the world remains clueless and condemned. But the only condemnation the world receives is the condemnation it generates. God does not condemn but forgives the world.  At first, those who know this, those called to be Christ’s body and do his work of forgiveness, will be few.  But the Spirit of Truth cannot be contained; she blows where she will and sets hearts aflame with compassion, and her holy fire will burn through the lie of sacrificial violence until only Love remains.

The Olive
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