If we are to believe that it is in the Jesus Tradition to encounter his work in untraditional places, then surely we are compelled to believe bearers of Jesus could be the people we least expect to be so.
Where do we find answers on spirituality? On God? On how to live our lives? And should our traditional source of inspiration, as well as our longheld traditions be the only source?
What says Jesus on this question?
Today we are called to stand face to face with the crucified Lord. Crucified because he refused to restrict his loving to the accepted contours of the socio, political, economic, cultural, religious and national interests of his day. He loved without fear and favour. This was too threatening for those who had a vested interest in the status quo and too disappointing for those who desired a violent overthrow of the status quo. Faced with the choice of limiting his loving or being killed — he chose to be killed and in his dying breaths he extended his love to new heights to include even his killers.
May his love pierce us today, Alan
Sunday 24 April 2011
“We have gotten so used to the ultimate Christian fact — Jesus naked, stripped, crucified and risen — that we no longer see it for what it is: a summons to strip ourselves of earthly cares and worldly wisdom, all desire for human praise, greediness for any kind of comfort; a readiness to stand up and be counted as peacemakers in a violent world; a willingness to let go of those pretenses that would have us believe that we really aren’t worldly. Even the last rag we cling to — the self-flattery that suggests we are being humble when we disclaim any resemblance to Jesus Christ — even that rag has to go when we stand face to face with the crucified Lord.” Brennan Manning in The Signature of Jesus.
Our lives are ruled by fear. If you live South Africa, the high walls are symbolic of the fear of what lives outside. Jobs we deplore that have good benefits are symbolic of our fear of not having security.
Yet, when we look beyond the walls of our homes, and embrace our neighbours and strangers, something beautiful happens. When we quit high paying occupations to pursue financially risky activities that bring us to life, something beautiful happens. We love those around us, and we love who we become.
And so, if we want to be saved, and we want to be loved, why are we slaves of our fears?
Following Jesus is not Safe
Persecution follows faith. Those proclaiming otherwise are lying. In fact, Jesus readily admits following him is unsafe. So what then is the value of following Jesus if you know it is not safe?