Daily Word of Grace # 29: April 24, 2020
One thing many of us-okay, all of us-struggle with is anger. This anger can have many sources, but is usually somehow connected with what we acknowledge on Ash Wednesday as “our anger at our own frustration” (The Book of Common Prayer 268). While some of us have a harder time with anger than others, or a shorter fuse than others, all of us have a breaking point. The anger comes pouring out in a fierce tirade, or passive aggressive behavior, or an expletive-ridden outburst, or the “silent treatment”, or many other equally “delightful” ways. The problem with anger is that it always wounds; it never heals. We may think in taking out our anger on someone that we have “fixed” a situation, or “straightened someone out”, or “put them in their place”, or “given them a piece of our mind”-and maybe on the surface we have-but what we have actually done is wounded them, and often in the process wounded ourselves as well. In the wake of every angry person you will find the flotsam and jetsam of the wounded, every time. No wonder scripture warns us, “Do not let the sun go down on your anger” (Ephesians 4:26). On the flipside scripture reminds us, “Let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness” (James 1:20). In other words, the only one who can truly have “righteous indignation” is the only One who is truly righteous, Jesus Christ. The good news of the gospel is that on Good Friday Jesus, rather than taking out God’s anger-God’s truly righteous indignation-out on the world, did the exact opposite. Instead, Jesus took it upon himself, while also taking the anger of the world, including your anger, upon himself. On Good Friday the sun did not go down on God’s anger…and it never will.
Love and Prayers,