Wednesday, April 20, 2011
"When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left." (Luke 23:33)
Arise Christian Church is a new church in Orlando, FL that is intentional about serving 2nd, 3rd, and beyond generations of Hispanic/Latino(a)s, a population that is often overseen or ignored. It is a demographic that is in search for an identity, largely because the dominant culture of this country rejects them and tells them that they are not from here. Yet, their motherland also rejects them because they were never born there. We are a people in the middle of these two realities: they both define us, yet both reject us. It is a state of “in-betweeness,” an often lonely and sad place.
However, to be in a state of cultural “in-betweeness” is also a sacred place because it is here that we encounter Jesus. When Jesus was crucified, he was placed in between two thieves to die, and it is here that Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43) Jesus is found in the in-betweeness of our reality(ies) of everyday life. It is here where we encounter a Jesus who knows us and understands us, and affirms that we are not a mistake. It is in this state of in-betweeness where we find wholeness, forgiveness, love, identity and salvation. To be “in-between” is to live with Jesus.
Rev. Sammy Robles is the pastor and co-planter of Arise Christian Church. Sammy is active in the ministry of the Central Pastoral Office for Hispanic Ministries, a racial / ethnic ministry made possible by giving to the Disciples Mission Fund and the Easter Offering.