And Jonathan Daniels advances! What’s the next round after the “Saintly Sixteen” you ask? Well clearly you haven’t made use of Lent Madness’ Bracket 2013 which lets you know who has advanced and the dates for upcoming match-ups. But if you don’t feel inclined to leave this particularly captivating blog for now: the next round to which Daniels is advancing is called the “Elate Eight.” I personally don’t have time to look up the word “Elate” at this moment, but I’m fairly confident it has something to do with “elation” and it has to be harmonically assonant with “eight.” “Assonant,” however, I did take the time to look up just to make sure I was using the correct word (it seems like it could have so many other meanings…) and according to the Free Online Dictionary it does indeed mean “1.Resemblance of sound, especially of the vowel sounds in words.” So “Elate Eight” is perfectly assonant.
On to today’s match-up: Oscar Romero vs Lucy. Ah, the sweet smell of vindication is in the air…! Perhaps you’ll recall just a few short weeks ago I expressed my a: indignation that Lucy defeated John the Baptist and b: my dismay that people — and not all of them from Miami I’m sure! — had voted more than once in that round thus discounting their votes and most likely tilting the scales in favor of Lucy and against one of the giants of the Christian faith (no offense, Lucy, but come on, really?). Today I am laying odds on Bishop Romero. I voted for him the first round and I will do so again.
Yesterday I reflected on the call for all of us to be martyrs — “witnesses” to the transforming power of Jesus Christ in our lives. Today we once again have two actual martyrs who laid down their lives for the sake of the Gospel. The very modern day helicopters hovering behind Archbishop Romero in this icon are a real reminder that the world today, as advanced as it may be, is still a violent place filled with brokenness, suffering and — yes — evil.
During the conference I attended last week one of the keynoters, futurist Bob Johansen, described the VUCA world we’re living in today (I think, perhaps, the acronym might have come first because “VUCA” sure has a star-trekky-futuristic ring to it! But actually it stands for “Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous”). Johansen went on to say that the next decade will be the most tumultuous yet in our lifetimes (and by that I assume he means the lifetimes of those of us who have been around “a few” decades or more, not newborns…). “If you thought the ‘Arab Spring’ was an upheaval, just wait,” he said. He did go on to say that the upcoming decade will also be the most hopeful (I guess that’s part of the ambiguity…).
What does it mean to be a faithful follower of Jesus Christ in “VUCA” times? How do we respond to volatility and upheaval and create hope in the midst of it? Lucy and Archbishop Romero knew something about this. They knew that no matter what, nothing could separate them from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. As a professor at my seminary, who once faced unspeakable tragedy in his own life, said “I fell through to the bottom, but the bottom held.” Hope in the face of upheaval, joy in the midst of confusion, resurrection in the midst of evil. That is what the journey of this season holds for us.
To vote, go here