What is to be done with anger generated by a sense of betrayal?
Bailey looked for the answer in Scripture – in, for example, the story of the great banquet from the 14th chapter of Luke. A nobleman prepares a lavish banquet, but the guests rebuff the invitations, making weak and insulting excuses.
“He does not retaliate, he becomes missional,” Bailey said. He sends his servant out to the streets to invite in the poor, the blind and the lame.
Another example is the parable from Luke 20 of the vineyard owner who sent his servant to collect rent from the tenants. When the tenants beat the servant, the owner sent another servant and then a third. When the violence continued, the owner sent his beloved son, hoping the tenants would feel shame. Instead, they killed the son.
In sending his son, the owner opted for total vulnerability, Bailey said – for grace instead of anger.
In a third parable, that of the prodigal son, from Luke 15, the father gives an early inheritance to the younger son who insists on it, then squanders it all in a distant land. When he returns, hungry, his father runs to greet him with open arms.
Bailey gave other examples, intertwining from history and Scripture examples of strength and love shown by turning anger into unexpected grace.
“May we be granted fresh energy to demonstrate costly love to one another and to a needy world,” he said.