Failure may be as beneficial as success if we grow from the experience. Growth from failure can make it a sacred, sacramental experience. The church of Jesus Christ has certainly made its share of mistakes, which may be why Jesus used crushed grapes and broken bread as our touchstone sacrament. When we fail, God does not say, “I’m disappointed in you,” but says, “I’m disappointed for you.”
Disciples of Jesus learn to shake off the dust and move on to try again because we know bad things are opportunities for God’s grace.
As Christians, we must learn from the example of Jesus. In his day, the cross was a sign of ultimate failure. Like prison bars or the electric chair, the cross was a sign that someone’s life had gone very wrong. Crucifixion was reserved for only the most hardened and serious criminals.
If Golgotha had been the end of the story Jesus probably would have slipped away into obscurity. The obscurity of those whose final verdict is “Loser!” Jesus, however, followed his own advice. That day just outside Jerusalem, Jesus ran headlong into rejection of the harshest sort. He was confronted by people who didn’t believe in him and didn’t want him around.
By all the standards of our culture, he failed, but that wasn’t the end. Three days later, Jesus got up, brushed off the dust, and moved on.
Out of Jesus’ “failure” God brought the redemption of humanity. That is the central holy parable of the Christian faith: Grace gives us the opportunity to practice resurrection.
Is it possible that God has something sacred in mind for your failure and for mine? Is it possible that this can be a moment of grace when you get to practice you own resurrection?
by Michael Piazza
The Center for Progressive Renewal