NOT ON THEIR WATCH
t's a great Story! There are no losers or useless among Christ's chosen. None at all! They're all on the walls keeping watch and playing their part. They come in different sizes, shapes, genders, ages, degree of giftedness, particularity of giftedness, social status, color, ethnicity, physical and mental health—but they all serve! Their service is flawed, it's true, but nobody knows that better than they do and no union or government, club or community criticizes itself more severely or more consistently than the chosen People. .
They're very often happy but not always "happy" due to their life’s circumstances— they haven't been given exemption from humanity's awful pain, they're called to share it; besides, it isn't only the happy people that serve God's gracious purposes. People in the world might “go down” despite the presence of the Story people in it, but they won't go down without their taking note of it. They can't themselves take away all the world's pain but just by their very existence as the Story and Storied people, in their physical presence they offer an alternative to a sad and harrassed human family—an alternative to its sinking without trace.
The walls they guard are not just the “church” walls. These “chosen in Christ” are not just “church patriots”—they’re “cosmic patriots” (to borrow GK Chesterton’s phrase). They maintain a presence in the world and they do it for the world! Their enemies are not flesh and blood; their enemies are everything that is an enemy of flesh and blood, all that insinuates itself into flesh and blood as a parasite and a destroyer of the human family.
In their better moments these chosen ones have no sense of superiority; they are as sick and beaten-up as the peoples of the world around them. If you cut them they bleed, if you cheat them they feel betrayed, they weep at the graves of their dead ones and groan at a child that has gone astray or a marriage that has fallen apart. They have no personal charisma that the world should admire them but what they have (by God’s good and sustaining grace) is a Story and a place in that Story and as the prophetic embodiment of that Story—the Story that says there is a God who will right all wrongs and that he has given the assurance of that by raising Jesus Christ from the dead. This chosen People in their sacraments, their Story and their embodied preaching at its best proclaim the rejected Jesus who stands for all throughout the world who experience rejection and oppression. Their embodied message is that entrenched evil, enforced poverty and ignorance and brutal oppression are not the end of the Story. After suffering and rejection there was the resurrection and vindication of the rejected One. Believe that, they say, think noble things of God who puts his honor at stake and offers the resurrected Jesus as his assurance that he will keep his word.
Poor souls might go down to oblivion but they won’t go down unnoticed or unmourned—not on their watch!