Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

don't be an asshole for Jesus

Those who follow Jesus should attract the same people Jesus attracted and frustrate the same people Jesus frustrated.
                                                   Shane Claiborne, Twitter, Dec 18, 2015

as most every day lately
has been defeating

don’t get me wrong
it is not that politicians are acting like assholes
I expect that

It is not that conservatives are being massively hypocritical
accusing their opponents of being
I expect that too

It is not that Trump continues to destroy our form of government
with his malignant narcissism
and his abuse of power

it is who he is

It is not the coronavirus
it is not corruption in high places
it is not yet another shooting
it is not the stock market tumbling
it is not my local LGBTQI community being treated poorly

it is the fact
that Jesus demanded we afflict the comfortable
and comfort the afflicted

and too many of us don’t

it is the fact that Jesus came to
show us the way
and we ignore him.

This week as we enter into Lent
The story of Adam and Eve is placed before us

Fake news
And all

The story is there
With its temptation
To “be like God”

They chose to go against the way of the Sacred
To grab hold of power
And use it

We know how that turned out

And the temptations of Jesus are placed before us

Same story
Same basic temptation
Different setting
Different outcome

No lush garden this time
Just rocks and dirt
Angels and wolves (He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him)
the holy and the wild

and he is tempted to grab power
to use power
to abuse power

to get his way
to thrill the adoring crowds
to reach his goal

to rule the earth

he has a choice
he chooses for all it radical impracticality
for all its danger

the way of sacrifice
and service
the way of acceptance
and forgiveness

the way of love
the way of the cross

it was all decided
during that 40 day
in the middle of the barren rocks

Temptation is about choice
A choice to go with the way of God, and now, the way of Jesus
Or go the way of the world. 

Sometimes we go the way of the world unabashedly
Grabbing power
Using power
Abusing power
Seeking wealth

Sometimes we go the way of the world,
while thinking, we are going the way of the sacred.
Seduced the way Adam and Eve were
By what looks and sounds good
But isn’t

And sometimes, we choose “the way”

Sometimes we choose service rather than domination
And generosity rather that accumulation

So here is the question the story of Jesus in the wilderness raises for me
How do we respond to the lure of power?
How do we respond to the lure of wealth?

Do we commune with angels
Or do we do succumb to the wolves,

Do we become people of kindness
or people of cruelty?

People of generosity
Or people who hug things to ourselves
Unable to share
Unable to see the needs and the pain of others?

The choice is ours

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