Monday, April 6, 2009

Subversive in this culture!

Palm Sunday, yesterday, at my church (First Presbyterian in Brandon, FL).

Palm Sunday sets up the initial trajectory into Holy Week with some real momentum. Chunky momentum. The definition of momentum, if I remember my high school physics correctly, is weight times speed. And there is significant weight, spiritual gravitas, coming in - especially if we have paid any consistent attention to our observation and consideration of Lent during the past 40 days or so.

So we witness this burst of energy and excitement as Jesus wows his way into town - Jerusalem, or maybe even our town. Crowds, energetic songs, bright clothes and spring-time optimism carrying the Gospel truth into the heart of the city where the power-brokers had set up shop. It was only expected that they were going to push back; and they did.

So I'm wondering this morning where the push-back it hitting us; me and you? In Luke's telling of the Jesus story a whole sequence of incidents take place Monday through Thursday. Jesus tells the truth, and the push back seems to build with everyday. The following is an excerpt from Luke 20 (13-15); this is Jesus talking, telling a lightly cloaked parable of the Now:
  • "Then the owner of the vineyard said, 'What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.' But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over. 'This is the heir,' they said. 'Let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him..."
IT turns out that the momentum wasn't this irresistible surge toward peace and love and hugs and flowers in your hair... instead it was a tide of inevitability that could only result in death. Push back is most insistent when there is a threat to status quo and when the values that define a culture are so obviously upended; when the truth demands replacement of current power-peddlers with a new gods - the God.

So I am asking people to think this week about the call to be subversive in this culture. Not to be rude, or to be overbearing, or to be holier-than-thou or to be disruptive for its own sake... but to be honest and conscious witnesses to the truth in all that we do; that it will be obvious that our values are the values of Jesus and - in our way of being - to subvert the gods our culture has chosen... and to see what happens.

Love and blessings - every day - DEREK

Picture - Rebekah at the church door: we sing and we pray - but then we're called to leave church and be Jesus-followers in this world.

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