Monday, October 6, 2008

Just a Reminder

The man Christians proclaim as God, the one we worship and follow, was a homeless man of an oppressed racial and religious minority group. He came from the backwoods and had no power to speak of. The group that followed him around, whom he taught and ate and camped with, was made up of the chronically ill, the blue collar workforce, the unsuccessful, IRS agents, women paid for sex, the irreligious, national traitors, violent revolutionaries, and those considered institutionally insane. His country, situated in the middle east, was occupied by the single great world power of his day. Many called him a prophet; more called him king, the one anointed by God to deliver his nation from occupation and oppression. He did not help himself by acting the part: forming disciples symbolic of people tribes; teaching groups of people how to act; making his way slowly toward the capitol city; encouraging armed rebels to follow him; engaging in suggestive spiritual acts of healing; speaking with authority against the powers that be; even upending the great religious center of the nation, wildly disorienting the market and throwing out heretics and blasphemers. Here is a man priming a revolution. Here is a man ready to institute a new society through guerilla campaign.


This man, in all of his revolutionary talk, in all of his intimation of rebellion, when the moment comes, does not resist. Before he spoke of taking up one's cross (that symbol of cruel and unusual punishment, execution for criminals of the state) and following him, and now he paves the way. This prophet king, leader of a new society, preacher of the old religion, harbinger of change, in his climactic moment -- with his followers present and armed, even jumping the gun, fighting in his defense -- heals the arresting soldier, receives the kiss of the betrayer, walks obediently to his accusers. He says nothing in his own defense, accepts his sentence, receives his blows, carries his cross, dies as a common criminal.

This is the one Christians claim to worship and follow. This is the one in whose life and teachings and example and death is most precisely witnessed and embodied the character, personality, presence, and heart of the one true God of the universe.

Do our language, friends, lifestyles, relationships, hobbies, interests, marriages, jobs, gadgets, incomes, and churches reflect this man who is God revealed? You decide.

1 comment:

  1. I love your blog, Brad. Thanks for always giving me something to think about! Miss you, friend.