Touchpoints on The Gospel
“But the radical nature of Jesus death and resurrection is that he turns all this on its head, upside down. For Jesus, his death and resurrection don’t bring us to a new point of security, where we can SIT with Jesus, but a new point of servant-hood where we JOURNEY with him back into the world.”
“Deprivation is not the point of this passage. Neither is it the point of the kingdom. The point of the kingdom is in the caring and the sharing of all that we are and all that we have. The point is to live in the reality that all is a gift…and NOTHING is a possession. Or should I say, NOTHING is the only possession.”
“You see, for Jesus, life isn’t about being right or wrong. It’s about relationships. The greatest commandment isn’t, ‘Be right with all your heart soul and mind.’ No, it’s ‘Love with all your heart soul and mind.'”
“Jesus takes on the ultimate exclusions, murder and death. And transforms them into resurrection and life. You see, even exclusion gets taken up into the Mystery and is transformed into healing and wholeness. Jesus forbids forbidding by transforming it, not excluding it.”
“While your relationship with Jesus may be personal, it is not private and neither is your salvation, your healing, or your wholeness. Which, by the way is what the word ‘salvation’ means. It means ‘healing,’ ‘wholeness,’ ‘completeness.’ And none of that can you accomplish alone…in private…personally.”
“We have to let the actions of Jesus, the actions of the Christ, define the Christ. We can’t let our theologies and belief systems determine who God is. God is much bigger than that. It isn’t Law/Gospel. It’s Gospel/Law/Gospel.”
“Like [the Pharisees], we might be a little disappointed to learn, at this late stage in life and after this long trek, that some of the biblical formulas we’ve clung to are wearing thin.”
Which kind of disciple am I? I am all of them. Sometimes I walk away from the Christ, and the flesh and blood the Christ inhabits. “Lord, when did I see you hungry, or thirsty, or in prison?” Sometimes I declare as well, “Lord, to whom shall we go? This is where I experience life at its deepest level.” And sometimes I betray it all.
Grace and peace from the Mystery in whom we live and move and have our being. If only we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread;” Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15 It would be funny, if it weren’t so sad. The Israelites, freed from slavery, come face to face with freedom and what do they do? They pray to God that they could be…
And perhaps that can give us a different perspective on the disciple’s cry, “Do you not care that we are about to perish?” The disciple’s cry speaks to more than a storm on a lake. It is the cry of all who go with Jesus, who follow Jesus to the other side. And while Jesus does calm the storm, perhaps their perishing is exactly what needs to happen.
You see, for Jesus, the Holy Spirit is not something you can name and claim. It is so far beyond you and me that no family or religious system can contain it. It is free to blow wherever it will and it catches up all kinds of people in its presence.
Let’s not make the mistake with this text of trying to move from one certainty to another. That is just moving from the frying pan into the fire. No, the move is from certainty to mystery. That is why the analogies are birth and wind.