Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Part 5 of Jesus in the Margins

Probably the best post in the series and this one gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling 'cos it was dedicated to us. :-D

"The Son of Man came exegeting Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22 and correcting the doctrinal errors of the Pharisees, and all the other factions in Israel."

Oops, that's the USAmerican evangelical approach to social change. "Preach the Word!" Too bad our Supreme Example didn't use that approach, eh?
Haha, I love a bit of prophetic inappropriate humour!

Whoever thought an ordinary table of people could be the place where heaven and earth meet?
Man I pray that we could start to get the sense that our tables might become these places ...

Whoever thought that eating together with the most unsavory of friends would reshape a nation's vision of holiness?
What are the revolutionary actions of the kingdom that are happening around us that we need to take notice of? Visiting refugees in detention? Opening your doors to drug addicts? Visiting lonely old people whose families don't care for them?

People at the margins might not be able to follow our fine, finessed, exegetically precise, "inner logic" trails to getting right with God, but they sure do know how to eat. And they'll eat with Jesus when he invites them. It was the spiffy, religious know-it-alls who were "too good" to mix with the dusty riff-raff. "Why do you eat food with unclean hands? Why do you eat food with homosexuals, terrorists, racy women and social rejects? God just wouldn't eat with people like that."

Jesus of Nazareth, gritty as he was, was and is and will forever be God.
It gets better still ...

Here's the clincher. Some of you will have to bite your tongue. There's no record that they had "to repent" to eat at Jesus' table. The fact that they came--tax-collectors, prostitutes, lame, blind, diseased--and ate and enjoyed Jesus' welcome was repentance enough.

Now, I didn't say that they didn't ever change, did I? I said there's no evidence that they had to change before they came to the table. There's a word that is really loved and lived by those in the margins. It's the word grace. Grace. Embracing Grace.
Wonderful isn't it?

For those of you who are part of our community I thought I'd also post John's prayer for us to encourage you.
Tim and Jay and your team of friends, may you know the deep joy of the Father's heart and experience the power of the Holy Spirit as you incarnate the living presence of Jesus the Messiah to those you love in your community. I truly admire and respect you.

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