An anthropologist who grew up with me in Ecuador has for many years studied the Calderón Quichua people who live just north of the capital of the country, Quito. We asked him a number of years ago what the shamans thought of the turn of the century in the year 2000. He said that they said it was a day of great portent, unknown powers that may be unleashed. The future was far from certain and it was best to keep one’s head down. They were going to sit it out watching.
I would guess that people in Jerusalem on this day may have been doing the same about Jesus. He had marched into Jerusalem proclaimed as a king and then upset life in the Temple by driving out the money changers and sellers of sacrificial animals. Everyone knew the temple leadership were looking to take him off the scene, but nobody quite knew how or when. Unknown powers were being unleashed. The future was uncertain. I’m sure the disciples wished Jesus would keep his head down.
Today many people are keeping their heads down. Uncertainty that predates the current administration and extends well beyond its purview is shaking the foundations of global society in ways not seen since the Reformation. Scapegoating is rampant worldwide. Knee-jerk reactions by national leaders to crises get a mixture of acclaim and disdain. Phyllis Tickle traces these cataclysmic cultural changes throughout the Common Era and predicts that it will be long and rather bloody, but a new consensus will emerge.*
As a Christian I cannot help but see Jesus’ death and resurrection as something world society is living. Unknown powers are being unleashed. The future is far from certain. I’m not going to sit it out watching with my head down. I’ll keep my head up where my wide-open eyes can see clearly. I can’t think of a more exciting time to be a person of faith!
*Tickle, Phyllis, The Great Emergence. Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, MI. 2012.