Friday, October 1, 2021

Don’t Miss It

For generations and generations words were passed down, prophecies of a King who would change the world. 
Hundreds of years passing, people waiting in anticipation of what was to come. 
They endured cruel slavery and wicked king after wicked king. They doubted and forgot about God’s goodness and love for them along the way. They got impatient and made idols out of things. They would cycle through this forgetfulness and remembrance for a long time.
These people longed for a king who would finally bring justice and order to chaos. After threats to their freedom and religious persecution they could not wait for a reckoning. 

And then came Jesus. 

Born to an ordinary young couple, but in an unordinary way. At a young age he challenged the religious leaders, quoting the same words they spoke but revealing the truth that they had twisted. They were concerned about following the rules, about being educated and keeping clean. Jesus came in and turned things upside down. He claimed it was more important to care for the poor and the sick then to worry about breaking a law. Jesus shared meals with those who the religious leaders would not dare to associate with. 

And nowhere does Jesus condemn those he sat and ate with. In fact, it’s the religious that he calls out. He calls them out on their fasting and the 
religious rules and practices which he says mean nothing if you are not seeking justice for the oppressed, have a humble spirit and are merciful. 

These religious people were so angry. Who was this Jesus anyway?

He was the long awaited for king. He looked nothing like what was expected. Instead of a political leader who defended their religious beliefs and battled for them in war- Jesus was a man who preached peace, and who taught about being a servant and loving your enemies.

So far from what they expected, many did not believe this was their king. They had prayed for so long, their people had waited so long...this was not it. And many are still waiting today. They are waiting for the empire to save them. 

Jesus came. He conquered death. He took the sins of the world on his shoulders and died a gruesome death. He rose again just as he said he would - but many of them missed it. They missed the revival, the reckoning because it wasn’t what they thought it would be.

The church is in the middle of a long needed reckoning right now. The church is facing the reality of its complicity in areas of racism and sexism. The church is being held accountable for its role in furthering the empire with its marriage to politics and the sin of nationalism that meshes God with a country, a political party or one issue. 

There have been people praying for a revival, for a reckoning. Well, it’s happening, but maybe it doesn’t look like what you thought it would. Maybe you didn’t expect it to look like a call for lament, for repentance on behalf of the church or the opening of old wounds. But these things must happen first. Jesus came and flipped things upside down. His way is not the way of the empire, it will not last. 

Don’t miss out on what is happening. Don’t be left wondering when the revival will take place because you will be missing it. Be okay with being wrong, unlearning and relearning and join the work that God is up to.
Painting by Cathy Fisher


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