During Chaplain Time with the staff of Shrine Mont Camps this training week, I shared my experience and wondered aloud if others had ever had experiences like mine. There were nods and a few stories around the circle. Then I said to our vibrant, energetic, faithful, loving staff, "Don't be afraid to talk about God this summer. Don't be afraid to talk about Jesus. Tell his story as we read it in scripture. Talk with your campers about how Jesus loved the poor and healed the sick and challenged the powerful. Talk about how he turned the status quo on its head. Talk about how he lived and died and rose again for the sake of everyone, everyone, everyone. Let's reclaim the name of Jesus from those who have tried to confine him in a box that is way too small."
Before I even finished the sentence, the room erupted in finger snaps and clapping and cheers. In a Holy Spirit moment, the box was torn open. So often at Shrine Mont, as in The Episcopal Church in general, many have been afraid to talk about Jesus, afraid of how we'd be heard when the name is all too often used for religious or political purposes that are just too narrow. But Jesus is out of the box - he never was good at staying confined! We're talking about Jesus. And that talk changes everything.
By Bishop Susan Goff