I shall never forget the beauty, wonder and spiritual culture shock the first time I experienced an Orthodox Resurrection service. It was 2006 and my new friend, Archbishop (ret.) Lazar had invited me to join their parish for the midnight service, the traditional Paschal liturgy, proclaiming and celebrating Christ’s victorious death and resurrection.
Upon re-reading the episode in Luke 22, I’m reminded of Jesus’ willingness to share a meal with a known enemy, one from his most intimate circle who had turned against him: ‘The one who betrays me is with me, and his hand is on the table’ (Luke 22:21).
The sword clearly holds symbolic power for the narrator. It’s a symbol of God’s assured victories and the complete destruction of Canaanites.
The concern to address violence in Scripture derives from at least four primary sources. First, within the church, there is an increasing move toward authenticity as an ideal, or even a virtue, for Christian community.
A hardening of attitudes toward immigrants and refugees is increasingly noticeable in Europe and North America of late.