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

Thursday, October 29, 2020

God's radicality

[In the scriptures, in the Old Testament and in the in New Testament, in the Torah, and in Paul] a vision of the radicality of God is put forth, and then later, we see that vision domesticated and integrated into the normalcy of civilization so that the established order of life is maintained.

                     John Dominic Crossan (How to read the Bible and still be a Christian)



God is a radical

Jesus is a radical

The way of God and the way of Jesus are radical


Think about it!

Die to live

Forgive your enemies

Pray for those who harm you

Bless and do not curse

Turn the other cheek


Think about it

Blessed are the poor, the meek

Blessed are those who feel the pain of the world

Blessed are the peacemakers


Jesus is a radical

And his way is radical


and when we claim to embrace him


we are literally asked to die to the old way

to die to what is “normal”

in terms of the standards of the world


and embrace his way

Jesus was killed by the world, by the “normal” world

and then was alive in a new way to God


So we are to “die” to the “normal” world

and come alive in a new way to God


as Paul puts it

“all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death,

… we have been buried with him in a death like his” (Romans 6)


but all too often the “yes” we offer to God

turns functionally to a “no”


we seek wealth rather than generosity

power rather than servanthood

retribution rather than forgiveness


when the difficult choices come

we retreat to the norms of the world


and the difficult choices come all the time


this morning for example

we woke to the news that the President of the United States

after scoffing at the seriousness of Covid-19

and refusing to follow basic safety measures suggested by science


has tested positive for the virus


how do we respond?


in the radicality of God

I know that I, for one

have no choice in term of how I respond


The extreme, radical nature of the faith system I embrace,

a faith system shaped by the teachings of Jesus,

demands that I move away from a desire for retribution

and embrace compassion, generosity, and forgiveness, otherwise known as love. 


As Jesus himself put it in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5)  "But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you"


So Mr. President.  This prayer is for you!

“May the Sacred comfort you, and bring you healing, not just physical healing, but a 

 healing of your heart and soul!  Amen” 


And may that same healing come to us all.  That deep down kind of healing that happens when we die to the way of the world, and come alive to the way of God


May we all refuse to change Jesus into someone more comfortable

Someone more convenient


May we choose God’s radicality

rather than the world’s normalcy!




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