Thursday, 18 February 2010
Will We Allow Jesus To Save Christians?
The four compass points which give shape to the book are:
Egypt - our experience of slavery
Sinai - where through grace we find purpose and identity
Jerusalem - the challenge of what to do with the blessing God has given us
Exile - when we lose the plot and fail to live the blessing God has made us, but also the place where we can confess, repent and be renewed by God's grace all over again.
A very helpful way of thinking through the implications of the biblical story and our path of discipleship. But, in the end, what does Jesus want to save Christians from?
Jesus wants to save our church from the exile of irrelevance (p.174) - in a world of poverty, AIDS, despair and suicide we can be church in a way that will never connect with the suffering to be a blessing to them.
Jesus wants to save us - from the kingdom of comfort, from the priority of preservation, from the empire of indifference, from an exile of irrelevance (p. 177) Using the theme of Eucharist (see earlier post here) Jesus will save our church, will save Christians from being so into themselves as not to notice a world of need which Jesus loves and is giving his church to as a blessing.
Jesus wants to save us from making the good news about another world and not this one.
Jesus wants to save us from preaching a gospel that is only about individuals and not about the systems that enslave them.
Jesus wants to save us from shrinking the gospel down to a transaction about the removal of sin and not about every single particle of creation being reconciled to its maker. (p. 179)
I could go on, but then I would end up copying out the whole final chapter. Is Jesus really saving us from these things? He needs to, and I hope and pray we will let him.